German Official Wants $53M Fines for Social Media Hate Posts

BERLIN (AP) — 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.”

Heiko Maas says sites should also 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.

Maas said Tuesday the proposals will become part of a bill that will be put to Parliament.

He says measures to combat hate speech, which can include so-called fake news, will ultimately have to be taken at the European level to be effective.

Maas says research shows that Twitter deletes just 1 percent of illegal content flagged by users, while Facebook deletes 39 percent.
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