Ber­lin

The Week - - Europe At A Glance -

Crim­i­nal on­line con­tent: A new law has come into ef­fect in Ger­many com­pelling so­cial me­dia firms to im­me­di­ately re­move “ob­vi­ously il­le­gal” posts, or face huge fines. The law, which was passed by par­lia­ment in June and came into ef­fect on 1 Oc­to­ber, gives so­cial me­dia com­pa­nies 24 hours to delete or block ob­vi­ously crim­i­nal con­tent, and seven days to deal with less clear-cut cases. They must also re­port back to the per­son who raised the com­plaint to let them know the out­come. Fail­ure to com­ply could re­sult in a fine of up to s50m for the firm (for re­peated breaches), and a per­sonal fine of s5m for the firm’s chief ex­ec­u­tive in Ger­many. How­ever, op­po­nents of the law are hope­ful that the next Ger­man gov­ern­ment (see right) may well over­turn it: of An­gela Merkel’s likely coali­tion part­ners, the Greens ab­stained in the vote, and the FDP were op­posed to it and want it scrapped.

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