Germany attempts to curb hate speech with new law that can fine social media sites


I think we can all agree that social media has become the new front for opposing opinions and discussion. Unfortunately, there are some who’d rather resort to hate speech than actual discussion. Given that social media platforms are readily accessible and easy to sign up for, the spread of hate speech on social media is posing a real problem for platforms like Twitter and Facebook. The German government thinks its problem enough to lay down fines on companies that don’t delete such posts within 24-hours.

The German government started to enforce its new (Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz – NetzDG) law on January 1st. The law was announced back in October 2017 so social media platforms have had a few months to prepare for the live rollout. The law allows Germany to fine social media sites up to $60 million if offending posts are not removed within 24-hours. Now that the grace period is over, the government expects large social networks to be ready to comply. The new law will apply to social networks with two million members or more so all the major players are on the hook.

Among the major players is YouTube. While many wouldn’t think of YouTube as a social network, it has become one of the largest social platforms on the internet.

“We’re committed to being part of the solution to illegal hate speech and extremist content online — around the world, and in Germany, working within its new legal framework,” a YouTube spokesperson told CNET in an emailed statement. “We’ll continue to invest heavily in teams and technology to allow us to go further and faster in removing content that breaks our rules or German law, and by working with government, law enforcement, civil society groups, and other companies.”

There has been some concern voiced over this new law with some fearing free speech will be censored. What do you think of Germany’s hate speech law? Let us know by leaving your comments down below, or on Google+Twitter, or Facebook.

[button link=”” icon=”fa-external-link” side=”left” target=”blank” color=”285b5e” textcolor=”ffffff”]Source: Fox News[/button]

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