Taking a bold authoritarian step towards fighting online hate speech, Germany intends to pass a law that would fine social media outlets up to $53m for failing to delete hateful comments within a designated time frame.
Out of all the social media outlets, YouTube is the best at monitoring hate speech, with a 90% removal rate inside a week. Facebook was second at 39% and Twitter an abysmal last at just 1%.
Lots of hate happening on Twitter these days. Evidently, something will have to be done about that.
“This (draft law) sets out binding standards for the way operators of social networks deal with complaints and obliges them to delete criminal content,” Justice Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement announcing the planned legislation on Tuesday.
Germany tried to do this the nice way, proposing a pledge to jointly fight hate speech on the social networks back in 2015. Alas, the time for soft words and half measures is over. All those who do not conform to these rules shall be punished, severely.
In Germany, hate speech is taken very seriously, often doling out harsh fines and even prison sentences for holocaust deniers or inciting acrimony against minorities. But in the era of free online speech, Germany finds themselves lacking in the authoritarian department. God willing, these new laws will put an end to that.
The Central Council of Jews in Germany welcomed the new law.
“We do not want an internet police or thought control,” the council’s president, Josef Schuster, said. “But when hatred is stoked, and the legal norms in our democracy threaten to lose their relevance, then we need to intervene.”
The new law mandates a code of conduct to be enforced, removing illegal material, reporting on the volume of complaints and to make it easier for other people to tell on one another. After all, it is the duty of the citizenry to report illegal activity, whenever they might encounter it.
To help fight against illegal comments, Twitter has introduced new automated tools that help identify abusive bahvior, screen out anonymous profiles like Le Fly, and simply block illegal content.
Over at Facebook, Zuckerberg has hired the help of fact finding services, like Snopes, Politifact and Correctiv to help rout out fake news, something that has been deemed unacceptable by all ruling factions.
It should be noted that Russian hackers are the prime cause for all of this upheaval, hacking away at the hearts and minds of millions of people — coercing them to partake in illegal online activities, winning elections for people favored by the Kremlin, and generally opposed to the rules of law set forth herein democratically free and prosperous republics.