262 Removed Facebook Posts Fall Under German Law

Facebook has been hard at work trying to eliminate hate speech from its platform lately, and has apparently removed 262 posts between January and June of this year that specifically fell in violation of a German law against online hate speech and fake news law known as NetzDG. During that time frame, Facebook received 1,704 complaints about posts that may have violated that law or community guidelines. This means that 1,442 of those posts were either determined to fall within community guidelines and left standing, or determined not to be in violation of NetzDG and were thus removed, but not counted in the official number.

To be clear, there is a heavy overlap between NetzDG and Facebook's community guidelines concerning hate speech, though NetzDG is slightly more strict and specific. It covers all sorts of hate speech, including insults and inciting violence or crime, along with false statements passed off as true to the mass public, also known as fake news. The law prescribes fines running all the way up to $50 million if speech that falls under it is not removed in a timely manner by the service in charge of moderating whatever forum the hate speech or fake news is posted to. In Facebook's case, the company is taking no chances, and has a team of 65 people dedicated solely to reviewing and acting on requests linked to NetzDG and similar laws.

Many European countries have some sort of law on the books meant to pressure social media and web giants into taking heavy-handed action against hate speech, fake news and other unwelcome user contributions on their services. NetzDG was coloquially referred to as the "Facebook Law" when it was introduced back in 2017, and even managed to draw criticism from human rights groups, saying that it stood to potentially limit basic rights to free speech freedom of the press on a global scale. This is not the first in a long line of European laws meant mainly to address the actions and responsibilities of giant American tech firms, and it almost certainly won't be the last. It joins a long list of laws such as the Right To Be Forgotten and the recent and somewhat controversial General Data Protection Regulation.

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Daniel Fuller

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, voice assistants, AI technology development, and hot gaming news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]
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