Huge fines proposed for social media sites that fail to remove illegal content

Huge fines proposed for social media sites that fail to remove illegal content

Germany’s justice minister has proposed fines of up to €50m for social networking sites that fail to swiftly remove illegal content, such as hate speech or defamatory "fake news".

Heiko Maas said sites should also nominate a person responsible for handling complaints, who could face fines of up to five million euro (£4.3 million) personally if the company fails to abide by mandatory standards.

Mr Maas said the proposals will become part of a bill that will be put to parliament.

He said 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.

Mr Maas said research shows that Twitter deletes just 1% of illegal content flagged by users, while Facebook deletes 39%.

-AP

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