Germany announces Strict Law to Deal with Online Hate Speech


Germany has announced strict law to deal with hate speech on social networks. The law will be applicable in full force on January 1, 2018 and the companies will have a transition period till the end of this year. The law will ensure that social networks remove objectionable content within 24 hours from their network in straightforward cases. In case the content requires further evaluation, the networks will be required to remove it within one week.

While the law will be applicable on major social networks including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, it will soon include networks like Vimeo, VK, Reddit, Tumblr and online photo sharing network Flickr. Any social media network having more than two million users in Germany will be required to enforce the directions stated in the new law.

The law mentions that fine up to €50 million could be slapped on networks failing to take action in stipulated time as per the law. The government aims to enforce the law by employing a staff for 50 people to monitor networks and actions taken by them in case of hate speech.

In the United Kingdom, there have been demands to enforce policy decisions to ensure that hate speech or other objectionable content is removed within two hours from networks. Social networks have taken some steps in order to ensure that the networks aren’t misused for spreading hatred. But, majority of rights bodies feel that they haven’t done enough in order to deal with the situation.