Hate Speech: Social media networks to face up to €50m fine in Germany


 The German parliament in its bid to put a stop to hate speech, today approved a law that would see social media firms such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter etc pay up to a hefty 50m if they fail to remove hate speech from their sites.

 The new law which is called Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz or Network Enforcement Act gives  social media sites just 24 hours to remove or block criminal content from the time that they got notified. However, there will be a slightly seven days leniency period for which providers can respond to contents that are less criminal. 

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 According to Reuters, providers must always make a quarterly report on how they are handling complaints on their websites. Those who fail to comply with the new law could attract a fine up to 50m, while the company's top representative in Germany could be fined up to 5m.

 The new legislation which is due to come in October later this year has met different reactions; some are in support of it while human rights and civil liberty groups are totally against it. They say that it restricts freedom of speech and that companies will remove contents that doesn't necessary infringe the new law so as to avoid the fine.

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