Germany (Mckoy’s News) – Germany Votes for 50m Euro Social Media Fines: Social media companies in Germany face fines of up to 50m euros ($57.1; £43.9m) if they fail to remove “obviously illegal” content in time.
From October, Facebook, YouTube, and other sites with more that two million users in Germany must take down posts containing hate speech or other criminal material within 24 hours.
Content that is not obviously unlawful must be assessed within seven days.
The new law is one of the toughest of its kind in the world.
Failure to comply will result in a 5m euro penalty, which could rise to 50m euros depending on the severity of the offence.
In a statement, Facebook said it shared the goal of the German government to fight hate speech.
It added: “We believe the best solutions will be found when government, civil society and industry work together and that this law as it stands now will not improve efforts to tackle this important societal problem.”
German MPs voted in favour of the Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz (NetzDG) law after months of deliberation, on the last legislative day before the Bundestag’s summer break.
But it has already been condemned by human rights groups and industry representatives.
They claim the tight time limits are unrealistic, and will lead to accidental censorship as technology companies err on the side of caution and delete ambiguous posts to avoid paying penalties.
Contributed by Dr Colin O Jarrett