Back in March we wrote about a proposed German law to fine social media companies that did not remove hate speech.
The New York Times reported that the law has passed and things are about to get tricky for social media companies doing business in Germany.
There is plenty of speech that is obviously wrong to any reasonable person, but there might be some instances where things are gray. That could be where the likes of Facebook, Twitter and You Tube get a fine.
If you spend a lot of time on social media you know there is a lot of stuff that goes untouched. I have read You Tube comments on just one video that would cost Alphabet tens of millions of dollars.
From the article:
The law will take effect in October, less than a month after nationwide elections, and will apply to social media sites with more than two million users in Germany.
It will require companies including Facebook, Twitter and Google, which owns YouTube, to remove any content that is illegal in Germany — such as Nazi symbols or Holocaust denial — within 24 hours of it being brought to their attention.
The law allows for up to seven days for the companies to decide on content that has been flagged as offensive, but which may not be clearly defamatory or inciting violence. Companies that persistently fail to address complaints by taking too long to delete illegal content face fines that start at 5 million euros, or $5.7 million, and could rise to as much as €50 million.
Now I have to believe that several European countries will follow Germany’s lead. I could see France being close behind with similar legislation.