Germany’s fine on hate speech comes into force

Jan 02, 2018, 6:49 AM EST
(Source: Peter/flickr)
(Source: Peter/flickr)

Germany will start imposing a hefty fine of up to €50 million on social networks and media websites, with more than two million members, if they fail to take down “obviously illegal” content within 24 hours of the issue being reported.

The Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz (NetzDG) law came into force in October but provided a grace period through the end of 2017, notes Engadget.

Germany’s stern response to online hate speech came after a barrage of fake news and racist material was found circling on social media platforms, writes the BBC. While the law provides a channel to citizens to report their concerns on offensive online content, concerns are raised that it may stifle free speech and lead to inadvertent censorship.