Freedom of Expression at Risk Under Germany’s New Social Media Law?

A new law in Germany stipulates steep fines for social media companies that don’t delete illegal, racist or slanderous posts within 24 hours. But a number of human rights groups oppose the law because it places limits on an individual’s right to free expression. Prominent social media companies such as Facebook are also opposed because they don’t want to be in the position of having to censor their users. The new law takes effect in October, and governs social media sites with more than two million German users. Facebook announced that it will have a workforce of 7,500 worldwide tasked with clearing problematic postings to comply with the new law. According to the New York Times, “the standoff between tech companies and politicians is most acute in Europe, where freedom of expression rights are less comprehensive than in the United States, and where policy makers have often bristled at Silicon Valley’s dominance of people’s digital lives.” —TV

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