German Law Could Result in $57 Million Fines for Websites that Host Hate Speech
Germany has passed a new law requiring social media websites to delete illegal, racist or slanderous content posted by users within 24 hours. Any websites that do not comply could face fines as high as $57 million. “With this law, we put an end to the verbal law of the jungle on the internet and protect the freedom of expression for all,” Heiko Maas, the justice minister who drew up the draft legislation, said. “We are ensuring that everyone can express their opinion freely, without being insulted or threatened.”
However, opponents of the law say that it stifles free speech.
The law goes into effect in October. It will also require companies to report how many complaints they received and what they did in response.