UPDATED 8:45 AM PT — Wednesday, July 3, 2019
Facebook has been slapped with a fine of over $2 million by Germany for “under reporting” complaints it receives about alleged “illegal” online content.
On Tuesday, a Facebook spokesperson said that the company wants to “remove hate speech as quickly and effectively as possible,” but said Germany’s hate speech laws lack “clarity.”
Under German law, social media platforms must take down posts Germany considers hate speech or fake news within 24-hours of being notified by users who complain. According to reports, Facebook received over 1,700 hate speech complaints between January and June of 2018, and over 1,000 complaints in the second half of that year.
“But how can the German authorities prosecute some internet troll in America? The answer is they can’t. What they can do is force social media networks to limit the damage. That’s what this law does. It imposes heavy fines on social media sites that fail to remove obviously illegal content.”
— Andrew Bossom, resident of Germany
The German law reportedly was made in response to an explosion of “hate speech” after the 2015 migrant crisis when chancellor Angela Merkel decided to allow over one million refugees into Germany.