News and Commentary

Germany Fines Social Media Sites For Not Deleting ‘Hate Speech’

In Germany, social media sites can now be fined if they do not immediately delete “hate speech” or “fake news” from their platforms.

According to HuffPo, “Germany’s controversial Network Enforcement Act, also known as the NetzDG law, took effect Jan. 1. The law requires any internet platform with more than 2 million users to implement a system for reporting and scrubbing potentially illicit content, including ‘threats of violence and slander.'”

The sites will be given 24 hours — or up to seven days for “legally complex” cases — to delete the content after the user issues a complaint. Social media sites that do not comply will be fined up to $60 million, which raises the question if the law were an earnest (though fascist) attempt to curtail “hate speech” or a cheap ruse to make revenue.

“Social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram, will fall under the purview of the new law,” reports HuffPo. “Professional networks like LinkedIn, however, are “’expressly excluded, as are messaging services like WhatsApp.'”

According to The Local, Facebook hired several hundred people in Germany for this very law. Their jobs will be to review and delete illegal content. Facebook states they will also increase their number of employees who review and delete content to 7,500 globally, a full 3,000 personnel increase just for the sake of censorship.

Lawmakers in Germany have hailed the NetzDG law as an important measure to help companies “fulfil their obligations.”

Perhaps ironically, Germany’s law comes on the heels of Facebook announcing that it will no longer be issuing a “fake news” flag, since it made people more likely to click on the content.

“Academic research on correcting misinformation has shown that putting a strong image, like a red flag, next to an article may actually entrench deeply held beliefs – the opposite effect to what we intended,” Facebook product manager Tessa Lyons wrote in a blog-post.

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