Word has it that the German government is mulling a new law under which Facebook could be fined up to 500,000 euros ($522,000) per fake news story per day it’s on the platform. The law would reportedly apply to other social networks as well.
“If after the relevant checks Facebook does not immediately, within 24 hours, delete the offending post then [it] must reckon with severe penalties of up to 500,000 euros,” Germany’s parliamentary chief of the Social Democrat party Thomas Oppermann said in an interview with Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine, according to a report from Heat Street.
Let me get this straight. If someone, anyone, flags a story as fake, Facebook, and other social networks, are going to have 24 hours to either prove it’s not fake, take it down, or face a half a million dollar fine. Seems like social networks will spend a lot of time just taking stories down to be safe, right?
This is what censorship looks like. The German government is handing the power to determine what information is available on a private social network to anyone with a beef, including themselves. Maybe even especially themselves.
Watch, though as Russia simply starts flagging stories and forcing Facebook to deal with that overload or face fines. They won’t even have to hack anything to mess with what information people have access to.
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