Twitter is facing up to $59.2 million fine; and this could come if the company fails to meet certain requirements. These requirements include prompt response to user reports of illegal content, maximum seven-day turnaround time, amongst others.
Germany’s Federal Justice Office (BfJ) on Tuesday said it has launched new proceedings to potentially fine Twitter for failing to comply with the requirements, especially as it concerns hate speech.
“Numerous content was reported to the BfJ that was published on Twitter, which the authority considers illegal and, despite user complaints, was not deleted or blocked by the provider within the legally stipulated periods. The fine proceedings initiated are based on this.”
The BfJ’s action is coming on the heels of illegal content that was reported to Twitter over a four-month period.
“All content contains similar, unjustified, defamatory statements of opinion, all directed against the same person. According to the BfJ, they constitute an offense.”
Though, the identity of the individual in question is not immediately known, the BfJ is now putting Twitter on notice to provide answers to its queries before it takes the next line of action of applying to the Bonn District Court for a preliminary ruling on the matter.
In January, India ordered Twitter along with YouTube to take down videos and tweets about a BBC documentary where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was criticized.
The directive was issued by the country’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The directive would affect multiple YouTube videos and more than 50 tweets linked to the videos of the first episode of the BBC documentary, Kanchan Gupta, an adviser to the ministry, said.
The ministry relied on the IT Rules, 2021, which gives it the power to take down posts that it deems undermines the sovereignty and integrity of India, and has the “potential to adversely impact India’s friendly relations with foreign countries as also public order within the country,” Gupta said. TechCrunch reports that both YouTube and Twitter had complied with the directions.
In his words, Gupta referred to the BBC documentary as a “hateful propaganda.” Many of India’s ministries including MEA, MHA and MIB, examined BBC’s “malicious documentary” and considered it to “casting aspersions on the authority and credibility of Supreme Court of India, sowing divisions among various Indian communities, and making unsubstantiated allegations,” he wrote in a Twitter thread.