back to article Germany to Facebook, Twitter: We are *this* close to fining you €50m unless you delete fake news within 24 hours

The German government has formally proposed fining Facebook and Twitter up to €50m ($53m) for failing to remove slanderous fake news and hate speech within 24 hours. A new bill introduced on Tuesday by interior minister Heiko Maas is designed to "combat hate crime and criminal offenses on social networks more effectively," …

Page:

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Could be tricky

      There's so many reasons to love Germany; they hate those fucking scientologists, lots of fun foods, good technology folks, great cars, and now a social media policy that makes some sense! Twitter is not supposed to be a free-for-all. I should be able to go there and find some like-minded people to hang out with and discuss the happenings of the day, but it is infested with assholes and makes the service unusable. They should not be there for assholes to shout anything and everything. In fact, they should charge for the service AND impose this new policy to see how it works out. It would have an immediate impact of flushing all the most inane shitheads right off the fucking thing! Right now, the various social media sites are shitholes filled with angry idiots who somehow figured out how to use a computer, but unfortunately they use it for nothing meaningful or creative; just to amplify their stupidity.

      When I first used the Internet in the 1980s we had a saying; flame in private, praise in public. Unfortunately, the modern muggles of the Internet do the exact opposite. Time to shut the doors to the world-wide whiteboard, and only let normal people write on it. The assholes of the world can jolly well go out and build their own blog sites and fight with their hosting providers, and not bother the regular users ever again! They still have "freedom of speech," they're free to go erect their own site to shout in, not on my Twitter, or the other public ones. Anything less is just not going to work.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Could be tricky

        Can I demand that we delete the preceding message for its potty-mouth language ?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Could be tricky

        Twitter's fine, just click the make your profile private and only follow things that interest you.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Could be tricky

        You've got of backwards. Twitter is a containment zone for normies and casuals.

        I don't want them leaking into my boards.

      4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Phil.T.Tipp
          Thumb Up

          Re: Could be tricky

          @cd - I fail to see exactly how this celebrated piece of fictional film dialogue could ever garner a single downvote. Mind you, the outragerati are never guilty of critical thinking. One giant thumb up from me.

        2. Truckle The Uncivil

          Re: Could be tricky

          Did I not read somewhere that in the US the practice of anal sex is well above 50%? Well over 50% have tried cannabis?

          If your rain came it would clog the drains with bodies and the rest would die from the miasma...

          Amazing the amount of hate that come out at night.

          1. BOH1066

            Re: Could be tricky

            *headdesk* it's a quote from 'taxi driver'.

        3. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

          Re: Could be tricky

          "Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets."

          Taxi for CD!

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Could be tricky

          @cd - Well, I think I know what you mean, Travis, but it's not gonna be easy.

        5. mstreet

          Re: Could be tricky

          Thumbs up for the Clash\Taxi Driver reference. Even if it is a bit off-topic.

        6. HMcG

          Re: Could be tricky

          Unless they buy umberellas.

      5. Timmy B Silver badge

        Re: Could be tricky

        @AC RE:There's so many reasons to love Germany....

        The irony is strong with this one... Doing half of the things they say shouldn't be done.

      6. Marketing Hack Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Could be tricky

        @ "Fucking Scientologists" AC

        I think Scientology is daffy, but I also think you just crossed the line into hate speech. Please send your 50 million Euros to to my Paypal account.

        Freedom is freedom. Germany has many good things to recommend it, but I'd rather have the Trump administration's civil rights policy, rather than German standards on hate speech, acceptable political speech and association and freedom of religion.

      7. BOH1066

        Re: Could be tricky

        why should you be the one 'allowed' access to 'like minded people"? who gets to decide 'normal'? not to mention the obvious fact that what offends you might not offend others. so why are your views the ones to determine what gives offense n? for example, i know quite a few people who'd find your profane language not just offensive but an indication you're an 'angry idiot'. your hubris is amazing and more than a little disturbing. you seem to have conflated your being amoung the first to use the internet with being the one to decide who should use it and how.

      8. JimC

        Re: Could be tricky

        > When I first used the Internet in the 1980s we had a saying;

        > flame in private, praise in public.

        I don't remember it actually happening that way though. The seeds of almost everything bad about the net were visible in the early days.

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Could be tricky

      @pccobbler - The devil is in the details and how does one define "fake news" and "hate speech". I think the definition will either be so broad that law gets trashed by the courts or it is so narrow that its ineffective at best.

    3. mstreet

      Re: Could be tricky

      The proposed Canadian law is pure idiocy, and one of the those laws put forward by self serving demagogues trying to buy minority votes . Since they don't define "Islamophobia", one has to look elsewhere for a definition. So, according to the Oxford dictionary, Islamophobia is:

      "Dislike of or prejudice against Islam or Muslims, especially as a political force."

      Since I know at least 2 Muslims who are hard set against Islam "as a political force", does that mean they are by definition, Islamophobes?

      Should the law get passed, both my Muslim and non-Muslim friends, are toying with the idea of going down to the local police station and turning ourselves in.

      1. Gerhard Mack

        Re: Could be tricky

        The reports that there is a proposed Canadian law banning Islamophobia are a god example of fake news. The reality is that its a non binding motion calling on the government to condemn Islamophobia and study what actions should be taken to reduce it.

        It doesn't define Islamophobia because it doesn't really need to since it makes no changes to the existing legal framework of Canada whatsoever.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Gerhard Mack

            Re: Could be tricky

            @pccobbler

            "It is very much binding. Read the bill yourself instead of assuming. I quoted the relevant sections in a comment made yesterday. Or just start here: http://www.assnat.qc.ca/en/travaux-parlementaires/projets-loi/projet-loi-59-41-1.html"

            I'm a bit lost here.

            1 This is not the bill currently being debated in Parliament, it's from 2 years ago.

            2 It is for the province of Quebec only.

            3 It doesn't mention Islam or Islamophobia anywhere.

            4 It references the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and there is plenty of case law to establish what contravenes the charter making offenses rather well defined.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. mstreet

          Re: Could be tricky

          "The reality is that its a non binding motion calling on the government to condemn Islamophobia and study what actions should be taken to reduce it"

          So...what the government is saying, is in fact a load of meaningless drivel designed to make them look like they are being forward thinking heroes for the masses?

          If it has no legal or binding impact, then what, other than getting their smiling mugs on camera is the point? I thought they were elected to lead the country, and make real decisions based on real situations. Instead, they are wasting their time and our tax dollars, putting together a giant group hug that seems to have no purpose but to tell everyone "look at me, I'm not a racist".

          If their intent is in the slightest bit inspired by noble intent, then why is it just Islamophobia, and not racism period?

          1. Gerhard Mack

            Re: Could be tricky

            @mstreet

            "So...what the government is saying, is in fact a load of meaningless drivel designed to make them look like they are being forward thinking heroes for the masses?"

            "If it has no legal or binding impact, then what, other than getting their smiling mugs on camera is the point? I thought they were elected to lead the country, and make real decisions based on real situations. Instead, they are wasting their time and our tax dollars, putting together a giant group hug that seems to have no purpose but to tell everyone "look at me, I'm not a racist"."

            "If their intent is in the slightest bit inspired by noble intent, then why is it just Islamophobia, and not racism period?"

            It references Islamophobia because we have some anti Muslim actions lately including the recent shooting in mosque by a white nationalist.

            But other than that: If you were more familiar with the current political situation in Canada, you would understand that the current Liberal government lead by pretty boy Trudeau is pretty much all about looking good for the cameras and that they have accomplished nothing useful. They were elected to be the opposite of the Conservative Party that got a ton of things done, but also tended to be annoying social conservatives and as an example took pointless parting shots at Muslims in an effort to wind up their base and keep from losing the last election.

    4. Mike Shepherd
      Meh

      Re: Could be tricky

      Given Zuckerberg's worth of almost $60 billion, even a $50 million fine might not change things...

      It's a measured response (a 'warning shot', if you like). If a $50m fine is ineffective, the German government may choose to add a zero. If the response is still poor, further zeroes may follow. Soon, it looks unwise to have ignored the warning shot.

    5. Ilsa Loving

      Re: Could be tricky

      > Not to mention that there is no clear-cut definition of fake news.

      Actually there is. But people being what they are, the definition has been more warped and mutilated with every passing day. Fake news is just that. News that has been fabricated whole cloth, with maybe a passing nod to reality to help it look more legitimate.

      What fake news *isn't*, is what Trump et al try to claim it is. Basically anything they don't like, or doesn't push the narrative they want.

      This is one thing that bothers me a great deal, and why I've basically given up on US news. There are no laws requiring news to be factual. If there were, then people like Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly would be out of a job before the sun set.

      Canada by contrast, (Please correct me if I'm wrong) does have such laws, and you'll notice that Canadian news, is no where near as ridiculous or down right fabricated the way US news is. Occasionally they get the facts wrong, which is to be expected, but they don't have the freedom to push agendas. If the editorial staff doesn't like the content at hand, the best they can do is simply omit it entirely.

      For example, when the Liberals won the last election, some conservative rags preferred to put some sports on the front page, or some nonsense about the Kardashians. What you didn't see what people clamouring on with conspiracy theories or the other idiocy you see in US news.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. caradoc

        Re: Could be tricky

        Trump is playing the MSM at their own game. They disseminate false claims the whole time without evidence and then later partially retract, but the headline is out there and sticks as fact.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Could be tricky

        "This is one thing that bothers me a great deal, and why I've basically given up on US news. There are no laws requiring news to be factual. If there were, then people like Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly would be out of a job before the sun set."

        Ah, but Beck and O'Reilly are not _news_. It's how all the media organizations get away with the most egregious stuff. Make it opinion and you can pretty much say anything. Mix it up with actual news that's just slanted and you have more effective propaganda.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    gotta stop radicalising all those axe-wielding, lorry driving right wingers the Germans have a problem with.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Heil Merkel.

      Hear hear. Ordinary folk can't be trusted with free speech for the risk of radicalisation, and women must cover their bodies should a man be inclined to rape them.

      Remember the law and it's makers are always right. The truth is no defence.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Heil Merkel.

        There is NO reason why Twitter, Facebook etc should be exempt from the same rules as radio, TV, magazines, newspapers.

        It's not about limiting free speech, but taking responsibility for your money making scheme.

        There is nothing altruistic about Facebook or Twitter.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Heil Merkel.

          There is no reason that phone/sms should be exempt from the same rules as radio, tv ...

          I demand that the Polizei monitor all phone calls for ungood speech

          1. Truckle The Uncivil

            Re: Heil Merkel.

            @Yet Another Anonymous Coward

            That is the NSA's job and they are already doing it.

          2. Named coward

            Re: Heil Merkel.

            "There is no reason that phone/sms should be exempt from the same rules as radio, tv ...

            I demand that the Polizei monitor all phone calls for ungood speech"

            Phonecalls/sms are private communication between individuals. Public posts on social media are, well, public

        2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

          Re: Heil Merkel.

          Maybe outlets publishing fake news, hate speech etc. should be, like the papers, required to publish a retraction in equal placing to the original.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Truth stands alone irrefutably. Only lies have to be enforced.

            Amazon have recently banned several books that are alleged to deny the Holocaust (some of them are available elsewhere or online). If those books contained false information, it would be better to refute them with truth. If you ban information, you drive it's propagation underground and support will grow. If you refute it openly then you can limit those who believe it to those who choose to believe falsehood. Banning things has a tendency to increase people's interest in them - could that be their intent?

            1. Truckle The Uncivil

              <quote>Amazon have recently banned several books that are alleged to deny the Holocaust (some of them are available elsewhere or online). If those books contained false information, it would be better to refute them with truth. If you ban information, you drive it's propagation underground and support will grow. If you refute it openly then you can limit those who believe it to those who choose to believe falsehood. Banning things has a tendency to increase people's interest in them - could that be their intent?</quote>

              You cannot refute false information by publishing correct information. The latter will be discarded unread or unseen by people who would consume the former. (They enjoy it)

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                "You cannot refute false information by publishing correct information. The latter will be discarded unread or unseen by people who would consume the former. (They enjoy it)"

                And that's quite proven in the US, where the near-absolute freedom of speech hasn't stopped hate speech, quite the contrary.

            2. the Jim bloke Silver badge

              Amazon dont ban enough

              My only use of amazon is the kindle store, and the crap they promote should never have been let out into the public sphere.

              back in the day of dead-tree books, the costs of production, distribution and promotion, meant that publishers had to quality assess each manuscript and reject the unsellable. Now, kids whose life experience consists of attending college and watching TV are posting multi book series - and Amazon shoves them into your face in some kind of "you may be interested" list, while the good authors I am actually interested in I have to search out manually.

              So.. back on topic,

              Ban them,

              Ban them all,

              ban the rest of them too.

              Whichever them is plugging political whatever on wherever.

              I promise my interest will not be increased.

              1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                Re: Amazon dont ban enough

                Now, kids whose life experience consists of attending college and watching TV are posting multi book series - and Amazon shoves them into your face in some kind of "you may be interested" list, while the good authors I am actually interested in I have to search out manually.
                How odd! Amazon's recommendations, while not perfect, are usually of things I'm interested in reading: philosophy and history. The only items of no interest to me, such as Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for meaning are because I already have on my Kindle.

        3. Timmy B Silver badge

          Re: Heil Merkel.

          I would say that facebook and twitter are less like TV and magazines and more like people standing on street corners with megaphones. We should use similar laws with regard to that.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Heil Merkel.

          "There is NO reason why Twitter, Facebook etc should be exempt from the same rules as radio, TV, magazines, newspapers."

          I disagree, at least on the radio and TV part. Those are broadcast out to everyone, so they have to have certain rules, and are regulated by the government. There is a limit on who gets to transmit said signals.

          Twitter and Facebook are private sites running on private servers that you have to explicitly visit to see their content. There is no limit on who gets to put up web servers.

          So there is quite a lot of difference, if you look at in a different way.

    2. Geronimo!

      I call bullsh*t

      The axe-wielder was no right winger, but apparently a man with severe mental disorder. (Well, yes, that might apply to one of two of these rightwing dicks too, but for the rest: neither stupidity nor ignorance are mental disorders).

      The lorry driver was an ISIS terrorist.

      To prevent radicalisation, you'll need education first.

      But since you can't lock them kids in schools 24/7, you need to have an overview of the places where these kids are the rest of the time.

      Making sure that hate speech etc. is not being seen as "normal" (It's been on facebook now for weeks, so can't be anything wrong with it) but is being removed and acted upon, will send a clear signal: If it's unlawful, it gets deleted and the author will be held responsible for that.

      True: This will only help so much, but it is a start.

      By the way: being a German citizen myself: I do not feel bothered one bit. Might be because I received a proper upbringing, learnt to think for myself and check facts before believing what someone else tells me. Having reported rightist hate speech to FB and Twitter several times, not once these posts were reacted upon, not even where threats to healt or life were written in the comments.

      According to the message from FB, this was not in conflict with the FB guidelines...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    Start with CNN

    Let's be honest. Even you Trump haters considered them fake news until they jumped on your bandwagon.

    Remember the (alleged) WMDs!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Start with CNN

      They were not fake, they were fabricated and purchased news.

      We knew when the trouble will break out in ex-Yugoslavia in the 90-es. Two weeks to the day after CNN crew lands in Sofia (if they were filming on the Serbian side and late in Kosovo) or Budapest (if they were filming on the Croatian/Bosniak side). They were there BEFORE the shooting started every effing ttime. I lost two bets on a case of beer on this and stopped betting any more.

      Do not even get me started on the hours and hours and hours of footage from the Middle East where the reporters have asked a local lunatic in need of an easy earner to shoot at an imaginary foe.

      It is with "F", just not Fake, It is worse. A different F word - a longer one.

      By the way, Beeb and co are not any better and Faux is probably even worse.

      1. ratfox Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: Start with CNN

        It is with "F", just not Fake, It is worse. A different F word - a longer one.

        ... Facebook?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Start with CNN

          Fabricationalized

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Start with CNN

      The US temporarily listed 'Private Eye' as a source of 'Fake News'.

      They don't do Satire very well on that side of the pond.

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020