Germany Passes Bill To Fine FaceBook, Twitter Up To $50MM For "Fake News"

Tyler Durden's picture

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has apparently decided she's not willing to take the chance of becoming the latest politician to fall victim to the same "Russian hacking" and "fake news" campaigns which 'undoubtedly' caused the downfall of America's liberal darling, Hillary Clinton (forget those pay-for-play scandals, federal record retention violations and willful non-compliance with Congressional subpeonas...total non-factors in the 2016 election). 

And since they can't really control the actions of those pesky 'Russian hackers," Germany's cabinet has instead decided to pass legislation that would impose serious fines of up to 50 million Euros on any social networks that fail to swiftly remove content that could be deemed "hateful" or "fake news."  Per Yahoo News:

Germany's Cabinet on Wednesday approved a new bill that punishes social networking sites if they fail to swiftly remove illegal content such as hate speech or defamatory fake news.

 

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet agreed on rules that would impose fines of up to 50 million euros (53.4 million dollars) on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.

 

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas said that the companies offering such online platforms are responsible for removing hateful content. He said the new bill would not restrict the freedom of expression, but intervene only when criminal hatred or intentionally false news are posted.

Of course, all of this begs the question of exactly how German officials define "fake news" as the lines between what is pure 'fact' versus 'opinion' often grow very blurred in politics.  Moreover, politicians themselves are often the biggest purveyors of "fake news"...so if someone quotes the erroneous comments of a German politician on FaceBook is the social network then liable?  All questions that would have seemed silly just a year ago...

Masas

 

Nevertheless, German Justice Minister Heiko Maas is convinced that "verbal radicalization" of snowflakes over twitter and Facebook is often a precursor to "physical violence."

Social networks need to ensure that obviously criminal content — as defined by German law — will be deleted within 24 hours and other illegal content after seven days.

 

"Just like on the streets, there is also no room for criminal incitement on social networks," Maas said.

 

"The internet affects the culture of debate and the atmosphere in our society. Verbal radicalization is often a preliminary stage to physical violence," he added.

But nevermind the actual 'radicalization' occurring in migrant communities throughout Europe at the moment...that is also just "fake news."

As we noted last week, Assemblyman Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park) recently introduced a similar piece of legislation in California, the so-called "California Political Cyberfraud Abatement Act" or AB 1104 for short, that would have effectively made it a crime to be wrong on the Internet.  The text of the bill implicated anyone who writes, publishes or even shares news stories that could be false, if those news stories are later found to have had an impact on an election.  From the bill:

This bill would modify the definition of the terms “political cyberfraud” and “political Web site” to include Internet Web sites that urge or appear to urge the support or opposition of candidates for public office. The bill would also make it unlawful for a person to knowingly and willingly make, publish or circulate on a Web site, or cause to be made, published, or circulated in any writing posted on a Web site, a false or deceptive statement designed to influence the vote on any issue submitted to voters at an election or on any candidate for election to public office.

And even though author Ed Chau described AB 1104 as "an important step forward in the fight against 'fake news' and deceptive campaign tactics", the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a digital-rights advocacy group, said the bill was “so obviously unconstitutional, we had to double check that it was real.”

Memo to California Assemblymember Ed Chau: you can’t fight fake news with a bad law.

 

On Tuesday, the California Assembly’s Committee on Privacy and Consumer Affairs, which Chau chairs, will consider A.B. 1104—a censorship bill so obviously unconstitutional, we had to double check that it was real.

 

This bill will fuel a chaotic free-for-all of mudslinging with candidates and others being accused of crimes at the slightest hint of hyperbole, exaggeration, poetic license, or common error. While those accusations may not ultimately hold up, politically motivated prosecutions—or the threat of such—may harm democracy more than if the issue had just been left alone. Furthermore, A.B. 1104 makes no exception for satire and parody, leaving The Onion and Saturday Night Live open to accusations of illegal content. Nor does it exempt news organizations who quote deceptive statements made by politicians in their online reporting—even if their reporting is meant to debunk those claims. And what of everyday citizens who are duped by misleading materials: if 1,000 Californians retweet an incorrect statement by a presidential candidate, have they all broken the law?

 

At a time when political leaders are promoting “alternative facts” and branding unflattering reporting as “fake news,” we don’t think it’s a good idea to give the government more power to punish speech.

But, unlike in Germany, California actually realized how idiotic their bill was before passing it into law...

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Grumbleduke's picture

this Maas guy looks to me like Adolf Eichmann at his trial in Israel. Can't help myself, but that's how I see him. 

http://cdn2.spiegel.de/images/image-111805-640_panofree-lois-111805.jpg

Comtrend's picture

NIGEL is the ONLY one who knows how to treat EU globalist scum and put them in their place.

Another EPIC rant:

VIDEO: Nigel Farage Says the EU Mafia Holds UK Hostage

http://dailywesterner.com/news/2017-04-06/video-nigel-farage-says-the-eu...

 


Haus-Targaryen's picture

Heiko Maas is the new Stasi. 

His goal is not to protect the people within German borders, but to protect the state and its objectives even if they are mutually exclusive to the welfare of the general population. 

He needs to be tied to a pole and shot. 

Ghordius's picture

Germany is a sovereign country with it's own sovereign laws, done by an elected parliament where several political parties can arise, thanks to a proportional voting method, all wrapped in a constitution built around republican and federal principles.

And those laws are the laws of the land. A principle to which many seem to disagree, here.

As a reminder, Russia bans a lot of things connected to homosexuality and is considering to ban some religious groups which are considered harmless (or not enough harmful to bother) in many other countries. Well, here... sovereignty

As a reminder, Hungary is doing some "cultural cleansing" (yes, it's a goofy term I just invented. just to annoy, but who knows, perhaps it makes people switch on their brains), too. A Soros-connected university is being banned. Well, here... sovereignty.

Now, your "Heiko Maas is the new Stasi"... well, it's your opinion. What did he say? Here:

"Social networks need to ensure that obviously criminal content — as defined by German law — will be deleted within 24 hours and other illegal content after seven days.

"Just like on the streets, there is also no room for criminal incitement on social networks," Maas said."

He is a minister, isn't he? Specifically, the Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection.

What's his job? Making sure that German Law is enforced.

now, your comment, part two:

"His goal is not to protect the people within German borders, but to protect the state and its objectives even if they are mutually exclusive to the welfare of the general population. "

debatable, but yes, one part is true. one of his jobs is to protect the state. he is a minister, isn't he?

now, your comment, part three:

"He needs to be tied to a pole and shot."

here, a perfect example of what German Law forbids. Since you are in Germany (you claim so), your statement here is a criminal offense

it's the kind of phrase that they, the Germans, want to see banned from public discourse. no, they did not start yesterday with that, it's German law since two, nearly three generations. now with an attempt of enforcement in this new thing, social media

does your incitement to violence, this "he needs to be tied and shot" improve your comment? does it inform? does it anything worthwhile? Germans generally speaking say: no

07564111's picture

Kowtow Ghordius! Kowtow!,,and you do it so well.

BobEore's picture

I'm usually in agreement with the gist of what you write Ghordo -

in this case, you lost me at

Germany is a sovereign country with it's own sovereign laws,

and I cannot bring myself to read the rest.

Ghordius's picture

I find this an amazing (new?) trend: can't read your comment (fully) because there is this (xyzVariable), but... I'll reply nevertheless

and, missing, often, a reason. a "because...". what is your problem with soverereignty? or Germany? you did not write

CuttingEdge's picture

Since when does German law take precedent over EU (ECJ) law?

Silly me - what a dumb twat I am...when the Germans control the EU and ECJ their own sovereignty is paramount, of course. Which is why Brexit happened, because they dictate terms for everyone else (no matter which cloud cuckoo land Ghordius is living in).

 

Thought for the day: Is calling Merkel an insidious cunt on Facebook defined as hate speech or freedom of speech?

space shitle's picture

I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do... http://bit.ly/2jdTzrM

Handful of Dust's picture

"..hateful speech is often preliminary to violent physical acts.."

So why isn't Merkle rounding up all the rapefugees, or at least arresting the ones attacking german girls and young men when they scream at innocent germans walking down the street or outright beating them up or raping them?

Exactly how many muslim rapefugees have been arrested for their crimes?

The laws are similar to usa where so-called "Hate Crimes" are only applied against white people.

beemasters's picture

Well, we do remember this, don't we:

Top German Journalist Admits Mainstream Media Is Completely Fake: "We All Lie For The CIA"
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-03-28/top-german-journalist-admits-ma...

And the way they stopped this disclosure of fake news (and rather effectively too, may I say) was:

German Journalist WhistleBlower Found Dead of ‘Heart Attack’
http://www.starshipearththebigpicture.com/2017/01/17/german-journalist-w...

RIP, Udo Ulfkotte. You have done humanity a great service. Oh, before you RIP, let's hope you will also help bring justice from the other side....at least haunt those directly/indirectly responsible for your death. Make their lives a living hell. They are despicable monsters we can do without.

Ghordius's picture

sorry, but is this a serious question? you seriously think that crime is not reported, not pursuited by the state, not pushished in Germany?

or that sexual assault is not a crime, in Germany? btw, did you know that every three minutes there is a rape, in Germany? and that this horrific number is actually... average, in europe, whereas it's low compared to the rest of the world? and that only a fraction of a fraction of a fraction involves refugees?

no, this is not the right article to go into this thing that nobody ever quantifies properly, because every rape is horrific

I'll focus on this part of your comment, then: "The laws are similar to usa where so-called "Hate Crimes" are only applied against white people"

they look similar... to you. but we do not have that "Whites" thing with Whites being nearly in a minority, in the US, for starters

as often, I have to ask: how much do you know, and how much are you... projecting, and how much do you realize that europe looks very different from those utterly breathless reports you might read about?

is there someone that has a link to let's say a webcam on any German public space? you know, in order to show how normality looks like, in Germany? because you know, there is not a "rapefugee" behind every German girl

if even 5% of what has been reported here was true... all those wretches would have been killed in 2015, for criminy

only... how to prove... what has not happened? to a public that is after fear porn?

Michael Bay's picture

Yeah, and those mass rapes in Rotherham would have totally happened anyway, because white brits are just like shitskins!

Chuck Walla's picture

Well, as long as the rapes are only a fraction and could be stopped by stopping refugees, it's all good then.

Gott Mit Uns! Sehr gut!

beemasters's picture

Their definition of fake news: Anything that challenges the official fake news.

ACP's picture

Kinda makes me want to put a bunch of KKK Nazi shit up on facebook and twitter then report it myself.

This stupid law is troll's dream.

BobEore's picture

Apologies if I appear to be unclear. Your grasp of history is unusually comprehensive enough that I sometimes may suppose my point taken. If not...

I will elaborate. Immediately upon being relieved of the worst aspects of oversight by the Occupying Powers, Germany(Federal)was placed under the yoke of noahide law and talmudist supervision of every detail of it's existence.

"Since the publication of the German Grundgesetz, there have been two kinds of censored media in Germany. The first is material that is considered offensive or indecent; such media are placed on the "Index" and restricted in their publication, and distribution to minors is illegal. The second is material that is considered anti-constitutional, dangerous to the state. The underlying concept is "streitbare Demokratie" (self-defending democracy) that legally hinders the rise of all anti-constitutional and thus undemocratic movements. The media concerned are banned outright, with criminal penalties for infringements. An example is the outright ban on material which supports National Socialism.

Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany. § 130(3) of the StGB (German penal code) reads:

He who, publicly or in assembly, approves, denies, or trivializes genocide committed under the regime of National Socialism in a way that is suitable to disturb the public peace, is subject to imprisonment up to 5 years or a monetary fine.[15]

Perpetrators of Holocaust denial can be tried in absentia and declared persona non grata, thus being barred from entering the country. Extradition treaties as relate to Holocaust denial are subject to political asylum pleas, but a persona non grata who enters Germany can be immediately arrested. Furthermore, a German arrest warrant based on the offense of Holocaust denial is deemed executable in many EU states, thus, a Holocaust denier's entry into any EU state could lead to arrest and extradition to Germany (or any other state where such denial is an offense, such as Austria, and which has issued an arrest warrant)."

This has not changed in half a century. Nor will it... until the provision of punishment for CRIMES OF THOUGHT without recourse to protection of the right to free speech is rescinded... and Germans are allowed to talk as if they are sovereign in their own house.

Ghordius's picture

and? here, this very article features a variety of American opinions that... Germany can't do their own laws... again?

in the sense that Germany must have the same laws as the US? look at your argument's end:

"...until the provision of punishment for CRIMES OF THOUGHT without recourse to protection of the right to free speech is rescinded... and Germans are allowed to talk as if they are sovereign in their own house. "

what I see is one set of Americans that insisted that certain things ought to be banned from speech, in Germany...

... followed by a new set of Americans that insist that Germany ought to have the same free speech as in the US

yes, this part seems never to change -> Americans insisting on how Germany ought to be

BobEore's picture

You lost me at "Americans."

where exactly are they? Except under your bed.

Too many assumptions/ not good when arguing facts.

Bavarian's picture

He lost me all over the place.  What a misplaced rant.  Full of errors.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

If only Heiko Maas would strive to enforce Germany's immigration laws as stringently as he wants to shut down his opposition, Germany wouldn't be in the mess that it is. 

You assume this power he is going to start wielding will be used equally.

You *really* think Maas is going to go after his son's own organization (Antifa) when they call for "capitalist pigs" to be shot on their facebook page? You really believe he is going to go after the TAZ for inciting violence against AfD supporters?  You really think Maas is going to "devote the entire weight of the German state" to finding out who keeps torching AfD member's cars, and digging faux graves in their front gardens?  

See, when someone where says or does anything above re; refugees -- Maas loses his mind.

Treat the "right wing" poorly, that is okay.  

He will use this tool to destroy his opposition and not destroy, say the Left.

There is a saying in Germany, which I find applicable -- the state can only see with the right eye.  I'm sure you've heard of it before, no Herr Ghordo?

This turns into a witch hunt, and you will be nowhere standing up for the rights of people like myself.  Why?  They haven't come for you yet.  

Ghordius's picture

now you are making arguments. very good... that you do that, instead of engaging in something that is a criminal offense in Germany, as you just did before with "Heiko Maas ought to be tied to a pole and shot"

now, how is an Antifa member going to call for "shoot those capitalist pigs" without having that banned and persecuted by German law?

again: most of that stuff is so damn clear that my example with pornography still holds: incitements to violence are really not that difficult to prove/demonstrate

07564111's picture

now, how is an Antifa member going to call for "shoot those capitalist pigs" without having that banned and persecuted by German law?

 

Not serious are ya ? Surely the same way it's done now,,there will be no complaint issued and therefore no prosecution will take place.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

I'll flag the comment on FB, just for FB to come back and tell me the comment complies with German Community Guidelines. 

I've sent Antifa comments to the appropriate local police before -- nothing.

If the AfD called for the extermination of all socialist social workers there would be an investigation and raid the next day.  If the Grüne Jugend call for the deaths of capitalist bankers, well that's okay. 

07564111's picture

Yep, exactly my point, and if Ghordo thinks it will be any different he's crazy.

Comtrend's picture

Rest assure there will be a lawsuit Facebook VS Bundesrepublik and the krauts will lose. 

Whenever is $ involved, the oligarchs trump the governments.

Stupid Merkel just draws more attention to her bad policies with this rule. And that's a good think.

Let's see you ditch her fat ass.

Verstehen Sie?

Ghordius's picture

"I've sent Antifa comments to the appropriate local police before -- nothing."

is your comment here... credible? in the light that you admitted yesterday that you did not involve the police in real crimes?

this new thing has to be yet tested, but yes, you are not interested in using it against your hated Antifa

Haus-Targaryen's picture

Every semi-decent city has a FB page.  I forward comments on. 

Do I go down and make a formal report?  Nope. 

Or is that the standard you want to hold me to, to allow me to complain about egregious double standards? 

Ghordius's picture

I do formal reports, I do accuse state officials of crimes where I see them. no, I am not holding you to double standards

Now, question back: are you going to make formal reports, going on? are you going to fight crime where you see it?

specifically, next time you see an Antifa guy writing "kill that capitalist pig" on an FB page, are you going to file a complaint?

BigJim's picture

Haus,

They may very well ignore your complaints about Antifa incitement to violence, but you can't claim it as a fact if you haven't put in an official report and its been ignored, can you?

I suspect a double-standard will be applied... more than suspect it, actually. But until you formally report it, we can't state it as a fact, can we?

Haus-Targaryen's picture

My simple argument is: 

Maas, being the fanatic that he is, will sweep anything not "SAY IT LOUD AND SAY IT CLEAR: REFUGEES ARE WELCOME HERE" into an "incitement of violence against a vulnerable minority" and censor it, while not censoring the egregiousness of Antifa, Grüne Jugend, the DKP or any other "refugees welcome" organization. 

If you think this plays out any differently you are a fool. 

Ghordius's picture

and my argument, as simple as possible:

Maas: "Refugees welcome"; Ghordius: "Enforce deportations where the law permits it, asap"

two policy statements. very simplified, note, then neither Maas nor me say only that

now, enter Haus-Targaryen: "Maas, bind and kill him",

followed by complaints... but no constructive path forward, no real policy statements, only a fervent prayer that we go back to "Leichenberge", Armageddon, WWIII and all that Zombie-R-Us stuff that are cultural imports, here

meanwhile... you are completely incensed that you ought to follow... German law in Germany. you seem to think that being American, you have the right to carry your First Amendment with you into a sovereign country that does not abide to that principle

frankly, you are in my way, and that of all those who wants to further deportations. you are just that: an example how American methods... ought to stay in America, and don't expect to be exported as gospel

ThirdWorldDude's picture

Ghordo, your first rant hints at Eurotards' miscinception and total lack of knowledge regarding the meaning of "sovereignty". Pray tell, how does Germany exercise control over Fakebook's corporate business policies? How is a social media platform expected to comply to different sets of hate speech rules coming from different sovereign countries?

If German polititutes really are interested in removing "hate speech and fake news" from social media, they'd take the responsibility of policing posts into their own hands (creating local employment opportunities in the process) instead of shifting the blame to a third party. Refusal of responsibility is the best sign of a clueless leadership!

Haus-Targaryen's picture

I look forward to Maas' Anklage gegen ARD und ZDF ... due to their over-representation of women and kids (normally either crying or laughing) when covering "refugee" issues. 

I am quite sure Ghordo would be fully in support of such a measure, given how unbiased he is on the topic. 

Ghordius's picture

lol, I see a few insults... and then a question: "how"

actually, that's simple. it's all based on... people's complaints. people will send complaints to facebook and FB will either do something... or not. and at that point, those who feel that FB ought to do something, still, will bring this to authorities and later to courts

SoDamnMad's picture

There are always idiots who will complain about everything. The world is not round and the sky is not blue. Look at the snowflakes complaining about everythign on campus.  The INSTANT someone complains  does that mean Facebook has to delete it. 

The St. Peterburg bomber blew up the train as a sign of his hate for Russian aggression in Syria.   I complain to Facebook that this is fake news and should be removed; he was carrying a device to get rid of varmit animals on his father's frm and it accidently went off.  

NOT

ThirdWorldDude's picture

Sorry for the insults, but the kind of statist rabble that you spill here activates my Tourette...

Now, back on topic - "people's complaints" is the right answer, but that isn't exactly what German .gov is threatening with. is it? Also, why should FB pay to the German state if your complaint has fallen to FB censors' deaf ears? You might want to give away such damages to your government, but I don't know of many other such idiots who would do the same...

Let's call the duck with its real name - this is a great example of "royal" extortion based on someone's feeling of self-entitlement. All else, including your ignorant bullshit about "sovereignty", is white noice.

Ghordius's picture

ok, back on topic, then

ZH's view that "it can't work" is corroborated by examples of how it "did not work" in California

now, the German laws on "no incitement to violence" are nothing new... on the streets and in newspapers, aka "the public sphere"

enter "social media", and there... they were not enforced because nobody was yet familiar with those new media

now this new law, which is about how to enforce old, existing laws... on new media

yes, the German gov, including the elected parliament is showing very little respect for the interests of Big Biz

now, explain to me why FB should not apply German law... in Germany

this, actually, is at the core of "Global MegaCorporations" vs "Sovereignty". did I hear a cry of "globalist!" or only of "statist!"?

Comtrend's picture

Because the FB SERVERS serving D might be in US, therefore everything on them protected by 1st Amendment.

If FB would be an equidistant company, would say fuck off and just ignore all politicians, like Google News gave the finger to Spain and other countries which wanted to tax some links to their media.

Since is not, will always try to help their fellow cultural Marxists.

At the same time they didn't want to help nationalist gov in Russia, so Putin told them to fuck off and made their own Russian FB .. VK.com

 

Ghordius's picture

interestingly, several EU laws go exactly in the opposite direction, of forcing those companies to keep their servers in the EU. often because of the personal data, and the "EU right to be forgotten"

now, you mention "cultural Marxists". how about... cultural imperialism? (with a side dish of legal imperialism?)

yes, the US has the 1st. fine principle. now, note how many here seem to be of the opinion that everybody ought to have it

everybody = the whole world. now, what was the definition of that word again, "globalist"?

ThirdWorldDude's picture

"now, explain to me why FB should not apply German law... in Germany."

 

Hmm, lemme see, is it because FB is not registered as a GmbH and thereby not liable to comply to German law?

Ghordius's picture

that's not how it works, nowadays, worldwide. FB operates in Germany. the FB consumer is in Germany, in this case's law

ThirdWorldDude's picture

FB's operations in Germany are only virtual, as they haven't registered a local company (though, they have local offices). So, even if Germany sues FB and wins the trial in a German court (you don't say), tell me genius how are you going to enforce the verdict? 

On another note, yours and Germany's claims are ridiculous because you are accusing a service provider of a crime that is committed by a user of the service. Did you even read FB's terms & conditions before accepting them? (additional reading: ECJ's decision in the Pirate Bay case). 

IntTheLight's picture

Facebook will happily comply. And is most likely overjoyed Merkel back them. The goal is conquest and Facebook will happily comply.

BigJim's picture

This.

FB will stop anything the German government decides is "hate speech" being displayed to German IP addresses. Some German snowflake using a non-German IP address will complain they still saw that "hate speech" and the German government will demand FB ensure that no one in Germany can see that stuff, regardless of whether they have a German IP or not, and FB will "reluctantly" remove the "hate speech" universally.

Ghordius's picture

kind of a Chinese Great CyberWall... in reverse?

perhaps you forgot... language? what do you think will be focused on, comments in English, Chinese, Russian, French, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, etc. etc. or.... in German?

Manipulism's picture

Was ist mit Joffes Aufruf Trump zu killen?

Das ist im TV passiert und keinen hats gejuckt.

Der Dreckskerl darf das weil..?

holgerdanske's picture

Stupid stupid stupid, "tied to a pole and shot"

Inflaming all and sunder.

 

The Poles had nothing to do with it, they resisted the Germans as best they could.

So please untie Mass!

then shoot him!

IntTheLight's picture

This is about preventing Germans from reporting on African and Muslim crime. When your goal is to dispossess a people from their land, you cannot allow them to speak out.

It is a law to prevent hate facts from coming out.

Ghordius's picture

prove that. until you can (all this has not been applied, yet), your comment is just that: an allegation

the difference is there:

A. "the crime was committed by a guy from African, a black guy"

B. "KILL THOSE NIGGERS !!!!!!! (some facts) !!!!!! (possibly some allegations) !!!!!!"