53 Million Dollar Fines for Social Media Giants That Don’t Delete Fake News Fast Enough


A new German law will require Facebook, other social media networks and websites to remove banned speech and fake news quickly or face fines up to €50 million or about $53 million USD.

“This (draft law) sets out binding standards for the way operators of social networks deal with complaints and obliges them to delete criminal content,” Justice Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement announcing the planned legislation on Tuesday.

It comes as the left-wing Merkel government faces stiff opposition in upcoming elections.

The company will be fined up to 50 million euros and the CEO in Germany will be fined up to another 5 million euros.

They have the world’s most stringent hate speech laws and they cover everything from defamation and slander to public incitement to commit crimes. Fake news is anything they say it is.

The German officials are worried about so-called “fake news” and “racism” and the targeting of the one million plus migrants who arrived in Germany over the last two years.

In 2015, Germany convinced Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google to sign up for a pledge to delete hate speech. This new law will turn the code of conduct into law.

Social media has already responded and have been deleting away.

Offensive content is also deleted based on user complaints.

German officials call this annihilation of free speech “higher standards”.

In November of last year, Mrs. Merkel and Mr. Obama discussed censorship and Obama smiled while Merkel talked of censoring the right-wing.


Germans censor material that is considered offensive or indecent and material that is considered anti-constitutional, dangerous to the state.

A top German journalist admitted in February of 2016 that the media prints to “Merkel’s liking”.

The former head of the national public service broadcaster Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF), Dr. Wolfgang Herles, confessed that Germans were losing faith in the media and, he said, other media outlets also check with the government on what to report and not to report, according to Breitbart.

Herles said the media it too close to the government and not only in commentary. The government decides what topics will be discussed. The agenda is laid down by the political class.


Varied government sources send the message that the news is to be reported in a way that “serves Europe and the public good”, he added.




Wiki claims the most important and sometimes controversial regulations limiting freedom of speech and freedom of the press in Germany can be found in the Criminal code:

  • Insult is punishable under Section 185. Satire and similar forms of art enjoy more freedom but have to respect human dignity (Article 1 of the Basic law).
  • Malicious Gossip and Defamation (Section 186 and 187). Utterances about facts (opposed to personal judgement) are allowed if they are true and can be proven. Yet journalists are free to investigate without evidence because they are justified by Safeguarding Legitimate
  • Hate speech or “incitement of popular hatred” (Volksverhetzung) may be punishable if against segments of the population and in a manner that is capable of disturbing the public peace (Section 130 Agitation of the People), including racist agitation and antisemitism.
  • Holocaust denial is punishable according to Section 130 subsection 3.
  • Dissemination of means of propaganda of unconstitutional organizations (Section 86).
  • Use of symbols of unconstitutional organizations (Section 86a) as the Swastika.
  • Disparagement of the federal president (Section 90).
    the state and its symbols (Section 90a).
  • Insult to organs and representatives of foreign states (Section 103).
  • Rewarding and approving crimes (Section 140).
  • Casting false suspicion (Section 164).
  • Blasphemy in the sense of Insulting of faiths, religious societies and organizations dedicated to a philosophy of life if they could disturb public peace (Section 166)
  • Dissemination of pornographic writings (Section 184) involving violence or animals (Section 184a) involving minors (Section 184b & 184c).
  • Dissemination of writings depicting cruel or otherwise inhumane acts of violence in a manner that is trivializing, glorifying or otherwise injuring human dignity (Section 131).

If Wiki is accurate, Germany can hardly say they have free speech.

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