Posted on | March 14, 2017 | 1 Comment
Germany’s justice minister is proposing fines of up to 50 million euros ($53 million) for social networking sites that fail to swiftly remove illegal content, such as hate speech or defamatory “fake news.”
The plan proposed Tuesday marks a further step in Germany’s attempt to impose its strict domestic laws against incitement on the free-wheeling world of online chatter.
Justice Minister Heiko Maas, a member of the center-left Social Democratic Party, said social media companies had already taken voluntary steps to crack down on hate crimes that have resulted in improvements.
“This isn’t sufficient yet,” Maas said, citing research that he said showed Twitter deletes just 1 percent of illegal content flagged by users, while Facebook deletes 39 percent.
The proposal would require companies to provide a round-the-clock service for users to flag illegal content, which would have to be removed by the site within seven days. All copies of the content would also have to be deleted and social media companies would need to publish a quarterly report detailing how they have dealt with such material.
Sites would also have to nominate a person responsible for handling complaints, who could face fines of up to 5 million euros personally if the company fails to abide by mandatory standards.
This threat of massive government fines is clearly intended to have a chilling effect, to stifle dissent against Angela Merkel’s immigration policy, and to inhibit further election success by the anti-Merkel opposition. Here in America, no one would dare propose such a thing as government policy. Instead we find social-media companies voluntarily enforcing their own censorship policies, so that last year I was banned from Twitter on the vague and unsubstantiated claim that I was “participating in targeted abuse.” Notice that it is the Left — always and only the Left — which demands this kind of censorship.
My suspension from Twitter followed two weeks after the company announced the appointment of feminist Anita Sarkeesian to a “Trust and Safety Council.” There is not even one conservative or libertarian on that Council; it is composed entirely of left-wingers.
We can predict that expressions of “Islamophobia” will be targeted as “hate speech” in Germany, to discourage reporting about crimes by Muslim “refugees.” Here in America, truth is always a defense against any claim of libel, so the Left finds other ways to inhibit free speech.
Perhaps I could give a seminar on “How to Get Banned From Twitter.”