Facebook says levying fines on social media is “inadequate” to fight hate speech

By : |May 30, 2017 0

Though social media platforms like Twitter & Facebook are launching multiple initiatives to fight online hate speech, the companies have been receiving a lot of flak from different countries. Germany being one of them, says Facebook and Twitter aren’t doing enough to combat hate speech and fake news on their platforms.

Hence, the German Justice Minister Heiko Maas has proposed a bill that, if approved, would fine social networks and other websites up to $53 million if they don’t remove the content quickly.

His proposal, which is expected to be passed by the German parliament by the end of June, orders that companies take down illegal content within 24 hours of it being reported. More complicated cases can be given seven days.

CIOL Facebook says levying fines on social media is “inadequate” to fight hate speech

Apparently, Facebook is fighting back against the proposed law and wrote in a direct statement that the proposed law is “inadequate” to be able to fight hate speech and fake news. The report was covered by a German news site WirtschaftsWoche.

“The legislative state cannot pass on its own shortcomings and responsibilities to private companies,” the statement read. “Preventing and combating hate speech and fake news is a public task that the state cannot avoid.”

The statement further reads that the size of penalties being considered is “not commensurate to the behaviour that would be sanctioned.” Facebook further called for a European solution and warned of “going it alone nationally.”.

Facebook has already started taking actions to address the order and set up a mechanism to flag fake news stories to expose and correct false stories.

“In its statement on the Network Enforcement Act (GER: Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz, NetzDG), Facebook outlines the main reasons why the NetzDG is not suitable to combat hate speech and false news,” a Facebook spokesperson said in an official statement. “At the same time, Facebook understands its own responsibility and welcomes political efforts to combat these challenges. However, the draft law is not the right way to achieve these political goals.”

Considering that Facebook played a major role in deciding the unfavourable outcome of U.S elections, Germany is taking the necessary precautions to avoid the similar consequences in its upcoming elections.

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