Social Media Providers Could Face Stiff Punishment For Hate Speech, Fake News In Germany 14/03/2017 by Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)German Justice Minister Heiko Maas today presented draft legislation to whack social media providers for what the minister described as reluctance to take down hate speech and fake news. Social media providers, according to the draft, would have to take down clearly illegal content within 24 hours and illegal content in 7 days along with with any potential copies of the respective contents. All taken down content would have to be stored as evidence and users would have to be informed about the action. Furthermore, the social media providers would become obliged to report quarterly on complaints and actions to illegal content. To step up enforcement, the German Ministry of Justice foresees considerable fines, going up to €5 million euros for individuals and €50 million for companies. It is clear that the draft mainly takes aim at large social media platforms like Facebook. Smaller platforms having less than two million German users are out of scope. A study commissioned by the Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth attested timely takedowns only to YouTube. Facebook only took down 38 percent of the illegal posts for which it received complaints on the other hand. The broad definition of “social media platform” might result in a broad scope, say concerned activists, extending beyond classical social media platforms to even messenger services. The draft still has to get a nod from the German government before it can move ahead. The draft legislation can be found here [pdf]. A press release from the ministry on the initiative is here. Results from the study on take-down times are here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Monika Ermert may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."Social Media Providers Could Face Stiff Punishment For Hate Speech, Fake News In Germany" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.