Published: Tue, January 02, 2018
Technology | By Christopher Mann

Germany cracking down social media hate speech and fake news

Germany cracking down social media hate speech and fake news

Social media networks were informed of the law and told they had until the end of 2017 to prepare for the law's implementation.

The law, known as Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz (NetzDG) in Germany, was created to target large sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, according to the BBC, but will also affect platforms like Reddit, Tumblr and potentially others like Vimeo.

Germany passed a new social networking law in June 2017, and it's time for companies to follow its rules.

More news: Trio Return - Arsenal's Strongest Possible 3-4-2-1 XI vs Chelsea

Under the new law, sites are given 24 hours (or seven days for more "legally complex" cases) to investigate and delete illegal content after a complaint is received. They get a week for more complicated allegations. The law was proposed after several notable instances in which hoax stories and racist material were spread across social media platforms.

Though the NetzDG law has been hailed by lawmakers as a necessary measure to push companies to "fulfil their obligations" to delete illegal content, opponents have called the legislation an "Orwellian" barrier to free speech.

Facebook's system for NetzDG compliance exists outside of its regular reporting frameworks, and it involves screenshotting offending posts and choosing one of 20 options that most closely matches the problem with the specific content.

More news: Hyundai India Registers Highest Ever Sales in CY 2017

And it seems platforms are taking the law seriously, as a member of the far-right Alternative for Germany party was blocked from Twitter and Facebook just hours after the law came into force.

Vice president Justin Osofsky said: "We're sorry for the mistakes we have made - they do not reflect the community we want to help build".

More news: Conservative rock star considers a run for Al Franken's seat

Like this: