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World

German Parties Salvage Vote on Social Media Hate Posts Bill

The legislation provides for fines of up to 50 million euros ($56 million) for sites that fail to remove such content

German Chancellor Angela Merkel participates in a conference in Switzerland, photo: AP/Markus Schreiber
2 months ago

BERLIN – Germany’s governing parties have cleared the way for parliament to vote on legislation designed to get illegal content such as hate speech or defamatory fake news removed quickly from social networking sites.

The legislation provides for fines of up to 50 million euros ($56 million) for sites that fail to remove such content. The Cabinet approved it in April.

It then encountered strong criticism, including fears that networks would delete too many posts to avoid the risk of fines.


Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc said the governing parties agreed Friday to amendments that would allow for a vote next week.

Among other changes, sites will be allowed to leave decisions on legally difficult cases to new bodies set up to review them.

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