Social networking companies have grappled with the fact that some users use their networks to spread hateful content. This is not good for them since this might lead to these networks losing active user bases and this means less revenues and loss of credibility among the general public.
Such behaviour has led governments to spring into action to contain it and Germany is one country that is leading in that front.
In a report by the Washington Post, social media companies will pay penalties under a new law if they fail to swiftly remove hateful content.
Germany’s Parliament cleared the measure on Friday which stipulates that social media companies would pay fines upto $57 million if they don’t delete posts containing racist, defamatory or illegal speech within a day.
These fines will begin at 5 million Euros ($5.7 million) but can go as high as 50 million Euros ($57 million) and will take effect in October.
“This law does not solve all problems, but it is an important step in the fight against hate crimes and punishable fake news in social networks,” Germany’s justice minister was quoted as saying. “Our experiences have clearly shown that without political pressures, the social networks will not change.”
Germany has taken a strong stance in the fight against hateful content being posted on social networks. A German watchdog partnered with Facebook to monitor xenophobic messages against refugees in the country. Germany even was planning huge fines towards Facebook if they didn’t curtail the spread of offending messages on its network.