According to a Wall Street Journal article, Facebook, Google and Twitter have hired censorship teams to remove user posted content that German law prohibits. As of January 1, 2018 a new law in Germany puts tech companies that allow user posted content at risk of fines of up to $60 million if they fail to remove posts deemed illegal.
Companies must remove hate speech within 24 hours in simple cases or within 7 days where content evaluation is difficult. The new fines can apply to any social media company that allows user content such as Reddit, Gab, Tumblr, Snapchat, Instagram and more.
Per WSJ, while Germans are only 1.5% of the Facebook user base, they are 16% of their worldwide censorship army. They have already contracted for 1,200 moderators in Germany to process user content flags. (Wall Street Journal)
Some readers of the article feel that Germany’s new hate speech fines are really a way to control anti progressive speech and to squelch opposition to Germany’s mass muslim migration. Others think it’s simply another way to shake down profitable U.S. companies similar to what the E.U. has done to Microsoft and Google.
The primary purpose of this new social media censorship in Germany is to stamp out criticism of Islam and Angela Merkel’s mad hat immigration policy. – Ben Qurayza
Freedom of speech mean you can say amazingly vile things, unless you say something that directly impinges on someone elses rights. So yelling fire in a crowded room is prohibited speech. Saying Hitler is a good guy is not. The challenge when governments control speech is just that, they control the speech. We see how this works in Iran recently. The bricks that need to be crushed are those that jeopardize free speech. That should be particularly the case in Germany. – Bill Fotsch
This is designed for Germany to milk American companies for fines. – Olesya Reyenger
Anything critical of the leftists in power will be squashed, like they are trying to do in the US. – Richard Stanton
Policing thought crime seems very expensive. – Peter Beacom