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Germany plans to fine social networks if they don't remove hate speech

A man poses with a magnifier in front of a Facebook logo on display in this illustration. Photograph: (Reuters)

Reuters Berlin, Germany Mar 14, 2017, 11.30 AM (IST)

Germany's Justice Minister put forward a tough new draft law on Tuesday calling for social networks like Facebook to take faster action to remove slanderous or threatening online postings quickly or face stiff fines of up to 50 million euros.

"This (draft law) sets out binding standards for the way operators of social networks deal with complaints and obliges them to delete criminal content," said Heiko Maas, a Social Democrat minister.

Failing to comply would breach the rules and could result in a fine of up to 50 million euros against an organisation, he said.

The country already has some of the world's toughest hate speech laws covering defamation, slander, public incitement to commit crimes and threats of violence and is seeking to update its rules in the fast-moving, often anonymous social media age.



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