Germany proposed a legislation which could cost to Facebook and all the other social media networks a €500,000 fine
It seems that Germany is very serious when it comes to fake news and hate speeches on social media. And the European country has a “beef” against Facebook specifically. According to a report from The Guardian, Germany is not trusting the social mesia networks to regulate the overflow of fake news.
So, if Facebook continues to circulate they could face fines for every piece of misinformation. That could cost them $523,320 a piece (ouch!). Of course the legislation has effect in every social media platform, but is seems that Germany has a fond on Facebook.
The chairman of the Social Democratic Party in the parliament said to Der Spiegel:
“Facebook did not avail itself of the opportunity to regulate the issue of complaint management itself. Now market dominating platforms like Facebook will be legally required to build a legal protection office in Germany that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”
“If, after appropriate examination, Facebook does not delete the offending message within 24 hours, it should expect individual fines of up to 500,000 euros. Furthermore, at the request of the people concerned, there should be some form of remedy or correction within the same range of value.”
Also, Germany’s Justice Minister Heiko Maas commented about the battle against fake news:
“Defamation and malicious gossip are not covered under freedom of speech,” Maas said. “Justice authorities must prosecute that, even on the internet. Anyone who tries to manipulate the political discussion with lies needs to be aware [of the consequences.]”
The parliamentary floor leader of conservatives Volker Kauder said this, according to the Wall Street Journal:
“After years of discussions, the social media must now unfortunately be forced to take responsibility.” “Only in this way we can counter further brutalization and willful manipulation of political debate in the net.”
“Facebook is earning an awful lot of money with fake news.” “A company that earns billions from the internet also has a social responsibility. Prosecutable defamation must be deleted immediately, once reported. It needs to be made easier for users to report fake news.”
But there is a problem with Germany’s proposition. Facebook is a US-based company. How will Germany collect the fines? And is Germany going to ban the platform in the country? Even if Germany wants to ban Facebook the social media platform will possibly lose almost 37 million users. It would a big lose, but not a huge one. Also, Facebook is a platform which host content from users. So, maybe the creators of the malicious and false content should be the targets, instead of the platform.