Total Solar Eclipse
Featured Series: Total Solar Eclipse
Aug. 21, 2017 will be America's best chance to see a total solar eclipse for the next seven years.

Sites That Don't Remove Hate Speech Will Get Big Fines In Germany

The government voted to fine social media companies over $5.7 million if they don't remove criminal content in 24 hours.
SMS
Sites That Don't Remove Hate Speech Will Get Big Fines In Germany

Germany is cracking down on social media sites that don't take down hate speech.

German Parliament passed a law allowing the government to fine companies over $5.7 million if they don't remove "obviously" criminal content within 24 hours.

Several outlets have reported that, depending on the content and company response, fines can be increased to over $57 million.

Germany has been moving toward measures like this for a while. Last year, authorities there conducted a nationwide raid on people suspected of disseminating hateful and criminal content online.

It's not just Germany. France and the U.K. want to impose legal liability on sites they say create a "safe space" for extremist content.

Critics of Germany's legislation argue the time restrictions are impractical and that removing content could impede freedom of expression.

But Heiko Maas, a federal minister in Germany, disputed that and told the German Parliament "freedom of expression ends where criminal law begins."