Germany Officially Gives Up On Free Speech: Will Fine Internet Companies That Don't Delete 'Bad' Speech

from the this-won't-end-well dept

Yeah, yeah, before you rush to the comments and start justifying this by saying that Europe doesn't respect free expression in the same way the US does, let's just say while that may be true, this is still bad: Germany has moved forward with a plan to fine internet companies which don't quickly censor the internet. Censor what, though? Three loosely defined (and easily abused) categories: hate speech, criminal material and fake news.

Social media companies face fines of up to €50m (£43m) if they persistently fail to remove illegal content from their sites under a new law passed in Germany

The German parliament on Friday approved the bill aimed at cracking down on hate speech, criminal material and fake news on social networks – but critics warn it could have drastic consequences for free speech online.

And, yes, again Europe has very different standards for free expression -- and Germany, in particular, has a long history of trying to suppress what it considers "bad" speech regarding some of its historical actions (Godwin'd!). Even so, this is dangerous and will be abused to stifle all sorts of important expression:

The German justice minister, Heiko Maas, who was the driving force behind the bill, said: “Freedom of speech ends where the criminal law begins.” Maas said official figures showed the number of hate crimes in Germany increased by more than 300% in the last two years.

Even accepting that free speech ends where criminal law begins, that doesn't justify fining the platforms. If people are posting "illegal" content, go after them for breaking the law. Don't go after the tools they use. By putting massive liability risks on platforms, those platforms will almost certainly overcompensate and over censor to avoid any risk of liability. That means a tremendous amount of what should be protected speech gets silence, just because these companies don't want to get fined. Even worse, the big platforms can maybe hire people to handle this. The littler platforms? They basically can't risk operating in Germany any more. Berlin is a hotbed of startups, but this is going to seriously harm many of them.

The new law also has an even weirder provision, putting liability not just on the platforms, but on individual employees at online platforms who are designated the Chief Censors for that platform:

Aside from the hefty fine for companies, the law also provides for fines of up to €5m for the person each company designates to deal with the complaints procedure if it doesn’t meet requirements.

Who the hell is going to want that job? Make one mistake in failing to censor something, and you may be bankrupted.

Just a little while ago we wrote about how difficult it can be for a platform to be calling the shots on what's worth censoring and what's not. Since there's so much content, the analysis of each piece of content needs to be standardized in a manner that tends to be absurd. It appears that those supporting this law don't have any interest in the realities involved, but think that by passing this legislation, they've waved a magic wand. Yes, putting liability onto platforms (and employees) will likely lead to greater suppression of speech people dislike -- but also of important and necessary speech. There appears to have been no effort to consider how dangerous that might turn out to be.


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 30 Jun 2017 @ 5:55pm

    R.I.P. Germany tech

    Now to see how quickly the exodus out of germany will be for any company offering service that might be affected. The law will 'work' only to the extent that almost no-one will be insane enough to stay within the country if they're facing fines like that.

    The fact that they actually included a scapegoat clause is almost warped enough to admire. 'Pick your least favorite employee to throw under the bus'.

    Even accepting that free speech ends where criminal law begins, that doesn't justify fining the platforms. If people are posting "illegal" content, go after them for breaking the law. Don't go after the tools they use.

    I'm guessing the 'logic' behind this is that if it was the government's job to find the ones posting 'illegal' content, then that would take time and money they don't want to spend, and if they missed something big they would be blamed for it.

    By instead dumping it all on the platforms they can just sit back and threaten companies for 'compliance', and if the company misses something then the government isn't the one catching heat for it.

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    • icon
      Koby (profile), 30 Jun 2017 @ 8:50pm

      Re: R.I.P. Germany tech

      It seems to me that a number of nations have wished to cultivate a tech sector, similar to the U.S. and Silicon Valley. But despite their best efforts and a lot of subsidies and planning, it hasn't happened. While in the past, several European countries have excelled at technological developments, they seem to be poorly equipped for the Internet Age. Computer development requires free speech, and it doesn't appear that all nations realize that yet.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Jul 2017 @ 12:49pm

      Re: R.I.P. Germany tech

      Now to see how quickly the exodus out of germany will be for any company offering service that might be affected. The law will 'work' only to the extent that almost no-one will be insane enough to stay within the country if they're facing fines like that.

      Except, Internet platforms are quickly running out of places to flee to. Practically every Western nation is demanding censorship of the net. Everything from takedowns to outright deletions and backdoors in encryption. Where should they go if anywhere they can reasonably get to is just as hostile towards them as where they are leaving? Or will be soon? Even if they went to a third world nation and set up the infrastructure themselves, they'd have no means to defend it. They would suffer sabotage all of the time. Never mind such actions would be painted by the UN as attempting to escape the rule of law.... That'll shut up most of the so called "defenders" of free speech right there. ("Well, it IS the law....")

      In the end, they will probably need to change the internet to make it very clear (read OBVIOUS) when you are about to change jurisdictions / go over a "digital" border crossing. That way the various nation states have a very clear set of boundaries that define their jurisdiction online. Would such a thing have massive repercussions for online free speech? You bet. But, given that vs. where we are headed: An insecure, every nation dictating what's acceptable ANYWHERE, version of the net. I'll take the least damaging one everytime. It was nice while it lasted, but as always humans are not at a socially mature enough level to have nice things.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Jul 2017 @ 12:58pm

        Re: Re: R.I.P. Germany tech

        >It was nice while it lasted, but as always humans are not at a socially mature enough level to have nice things.

        Slight correction, politicians are not mature enough to allow their citizens to have nice things, because they want to control everything.

        The Internet was built by those who value cooperation over control, which is the opposite to politicians who value control over cooperation.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Jul 2017 @ 10:33pm

        Re: Re: R.I.P. Germany tech

        better idea, make the internet it's own country. the concept of countries without physical land have existed before.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Jul 2017 @ 1:26pm

        Re: Re: R.I.P. Germany tech

        Complete BS, that what you say is only happen in a few of the "western countries". But besides from that, western countries is NOT the whole world. Why do you think the pirate bay registers on Tonga? Or some other place? You are stuck int he 19th century. There is a thing called globalization.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Jul 2017 @ 5:06am

        Re: Re: R.I.P. Germany tech

        > Practically every Western nation is demanding censorship of the net.

        Well, practically every *government* is.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2017 @ 7:52pm

    Stuff like this make me scratch my head when people say Merkel is a great leader and has to remain in charge because of her skill at managing the economy. IF that were true then this bill wouldn't even stand a chance of coming up for a vote.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jul 2017 @ 1:33pm

      Re:

      Of course. She is no better than Putin. And Trump is no better than Putin. So here is the thing, countries and borders are just fictitious, imaginary things created by some for political reasons ($$$). People with power will always abuse their population and others if possible (hello USA), so there is no point in saying Merkel this or Putin that or Trump those. They are ALL the same, that is the corrupting power of money and control! So stop thinking people from different countries are better than others, or rulers from some countries are better than others, this is simply not true and juts a generalization that serves no purpose. See people as they are, people, don't represent, don't be too proud of "your country" and don't be hating others. It is all the same people vs rulers. The answers to society's problems won't come form government or from corporation, or the news power. Solutions they will invariably come from another power, Organize Civil Society.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        jupiterkansas (profile), 5 Jul 2017 @ 8:52am

        Re: Re:

        Organized civil society IS government.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Jul 2017 @ 11:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Organized civil society IS government.

          So when a government abuses it's people, its actually the people abusing themselves. And if people overthrow a government, its actually the people overthrowing themselves. Because every nation deserves the government it gets!

          And old, leaded paint chips taste the best.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            jupiterkansas (profile), 6 Jul 2017 @ 7:17am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Please explain how you will organize civil society and not call it government - because that's exactly what government is whether it's democratic republic or socialism or communism; different ways to organize civil society.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TechDescartes (profile), 30 Jun 2017 @ 8:27pm

    Behind Closed Doors

    That means a tremendous amount of what should be protected speech gets silence, just because these companies don't want to get fined.

    This is not a bug. It's a feature.

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2017 @ 9:22pm

    Germany's new policy of fining internet companies is nothing compared to the country's long-established practice of sending academic historians to prison for years at a stretch just for expressing non-politically-correct opinions (no matter how well documented) about WWII history.

    In a country where getting caught with a copy of Mein Kampf has long been akin to committing a murderous Hate Crime, this kind of censorship is nothing new, and the problem goes much, much deeper. Germany has had strict censorship and harsh punishment since the post-war occupation laid down these laws that basically criminalized anything and anyone that even remotely hinted at some sort of sympathy with Nazism (as decided by the occupation authorities of course).

    In reality, Germany is still under a kind of de facto occupation, since the invading armies that conquered the country and imposed a government and legal system on the German people (as well as writing their history books as all conquerors do) have never left (well, except the Russians of course).

    Germany is still very much a 'fascist' state, but of the left-wing (& guilt-ridden) fascist type, even after a 70-years-and-counting program of intense de-Nazification. These days it's not so much the Nazi-fetishists but ordinary people who oppose the government's open-borders immigrant policy who fear arrest.

    When Germany becomes a Muslim caliphate, which could be very soon considering the rate that the country is absorbing Middle-East immigrants (apparently as amends for their distant anti-immigrant past) the German people should be well acclimated to the degree of authoritarianism that they've had, in one form or another, ever since WWI.

    Anyway, for someone who has recently taken a personal interest in learning about Germany's shocking degree of authoritarian censorship (for a Western democracy) this story barely raises an eyebrow. And that's perhaps the saddest part.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2017 @ 9:37pm

    Therefore in the future I will have to use this post when giving an opinion about Germany and its politicans:

    Bad Germany!

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  • icon
    techflaws (profile), 30 Jun 2017 @ 9:55pm

    And it just so happens that this law was passed while everyone was partying the other law passed: "marriage for all" which gives gays equal rights when it comes to adoption and stuff.

    BTW, Merkel voted against it following her Bauchgefühl (gut feeling).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2017 @ 10:23pm

    Germany's hate speech laws

    Well Germany's laws against hate speech aren't unique to Germany but are common in all European nations.

    When you (correctly) point out that the law chills speech that ought to be protected, you are speaking from a First Amendment free speech viewpoint that affords more protection that does the European Convention of Human Rights.

    Note that cases like Matal v. Tam and R.A.V would not have had a happy outcome if these came before the European Court of Human Rights.

    I am Scandinavian, and I know for sure that most Europeans are totalitarian fascists with regard to free speech.


    Our libel laws impose the burden of proving truth on the part of speakers even when the plaintiff in a defamation case is a public figure.

    And defaming a deceased person is actually illegal in most of Europe.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Jun 2017 @ 10:49pm

    "the number of hate crimes in Germany increased by more than 300% in the last two years"

    And we only expanded the laws for hate crimes 147 times.

    There is nothing that forces you to keep reading a post where someone extols the virtues of Hitler and the 3rd Reich.
    You have the option to look away or on many platforms block that person.

    Instead they have now crafted a system that forces platforms to jump as fast as humanly possible when someone gets a bee in the bonnet and hits the report button. Some poor sap faces personal ruin if they don't jump fast enough and high enough. Anyone think that person is going to err on the side of the poster? Its like a DMCA system for speech.
    It will be earth shattering if its not blocked fast enough, but its not a big deal if it shouldn't have been taken down in the first place.

    We need to stop wrapping the 'net in nerf to protect peoples feelings. I don't want to listen to a bigot speak, but I can't demand the FCC block Trump & Co. from televised speeches. I can turn off the tv, or look for a channel not sucked into the sideshow.

    We've made vrong think illegal, and now the vorld vill be a vonderful place... or else.

    Because cutting off their outlet won't piss them off that tiny bit more into deciding to move onto real world efforts, justifying it in their head about special rights protecting them from harsh language.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Hugh Jasohl (profile), 1 Jul 2017 @ 4:01am

      Re:

      When a country starts defining what is and isn't allowed as speech, they have become a police state. I spent 18 months in Germany as a child, but unless something drastic changes, I won't be back outside of a draft.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Jul 2017 @ 8:21am

        Re: Re:

        No surprise that the TD crowd would mark a technically incorrect statement as insightful.

        A police state is like America, where its all "secret" based laws and monitoring of citizens at play. If they are "defining what is and isn't allowed as speech" they really are not being secretive are they?

        If it is out in the open, then it is closer to just flat out fascism. Germany is just one step closer to being Nazi Germany again, this time... just in the opposite direction. But that is not too much of a concern, Germany is really busy destroying itself.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ishtiaq (profile), 1 Jul 2017 @ 2:33am

    Germany Officially Gives Up On Free Speech

    Thank fuck for Brexit.

    Though I suppose what we Brits laughingly call "our government" are all ready to do something similar.

    Cheers… Ishy

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  • icon
    MyNameHere (profile), 1 Jul 2017 @ 2:58am

    The tool argument

    I am always sort of fascinated with the "tool" argument.

    "If people are posting "illegal" content, go after them for breaking the law. Don't go after the tools they use."

    This would be a good argument if you were talking about say a word processor or a spreadsheet. It would make sense because those tools are in the user's control exclusively and the creator has no control over it's use.

    That's not the case for a website. Ultimately, the owner of a website is in control. They can decide to accept a post or not (as Techdirt apparently quietly does), they can choose to filter, modify, or delete anything at any time - it's their site, they control it.

    To say that they don't have control is to ignore the very basic idea: At any time, the site owner can say "enough" and turn it off. It's the sort of control that cannot be denied or wished away.

    Germany is taking the opposite choice from Section 230 in the US. They are not denying reality and instead are pushing to make it clear that ownership is responsibility.

    You may not love it, but it seems in some ways their new law is more in keeping with reality.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Jul 2017 @ 3:28am

      Re: The tool argument

      You have a very poor grasp of scale.

      When you run a big site, like say Facebook, or YouTube, it is not even remotely possible to examine every posting before it goes up. Also note that acting immediately on all notification from external sources simply enables people to censor what they do not like.

      An algorithmic approach is as bad, as it cannot deal with subleties. Just look at all the false take downs under the DMCA, and the way that ContentID does not allow fair use.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 1 Jul 2017 @ 4:25am

      Re: The tool argument

      As the other AC noted, scale makes a huge difference. A site like Facebook can turn comments off entirely easily enough(it would utterly destroy the site, but they can do it), but expecting them to pro-actively filter millions of posts, with a hefty threat hanging over their head for missing something that someone might find offensive is insane, and guaranteed to cause massive damage to free speech.

      They have 'control' in the sense that they can destroy their site or let people comment, but the idea that they have control, and therefore responsibility for the words and actions of millions is absurd, and ignores just how massive the amount you're 'asking' them to be responsible for is.

      They can certainly act when notified about something on an individual level, but expected them to pro-actively hunt down 'offensive' stuff is a recipe for enormous amounts of perfectly legal, perfectly 'good' content to be censored, 'just in case', because much like the DMCA while there seems to be no penalty for wrongly taking something down that didn't need to be taken down, there most certainly is a penalty for not taking something down that should have been.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Jul 2017 @ 4:33am

        Re: Re: The tool argument

        Actually, acting when notified can also run into problems of scale, just look at how the legacy Industry has forms trying to swamp Google with DMCA notices. It also acts against individuals trying to contest the notices, as they cannot get the attention of a human at the companies to look at their counter claims. The few that do attract attention do so because the claim ad counter claim go viral on social media outlets.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Jul 2017 @ 5:21am

        Re: Re: The tool argument

        One way to attempt to get the concept of scale into lawmakers' thick skulls is to give them 24 hours' worth of archival comments and tell them "You have 24 hours to identify every single 'hate' comment." Of course, they'll just handwave and say Facebook et al have nerd magic to do it easier, but at least it'd be an attempt.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Jul 2017 @ 5:13pm

          Re: Re: Re: The tool argument

          A million cars in the road we still recall them for defects. Scale is 9nly an issue if you didn't plan for it.

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          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 1 Jul 2017 @ 10:43pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The tool argument

            The difference(one of them anyway) is that when you have a recall of a vehicle model it's because there is an obvious problem with that model, and all of them are faulty as a result. You can't do that when it comes to user submitted content, unless you want to kill it all off entirely.

            'Planning' for pre-screening user submitted content isn't even remotely similar, unless the plan is simply 'Don't allow user submitted content', as you'd be hard pressed to find a profitable or even feasible plan to preemptively scan millions upon millions of posts for anything that someone might be offended by or that might be illegal.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            nasch (profile), 2 Jul 2017 @ 9:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The tool argument

            That would also be impossible if their customers were making millions more cars every hour, and the manufacturers didn't know which ones had the defect.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 4 Jul 2017 @ 12:18pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The tool argument

            There are only a few thousand different models of cars on the road, and a recall is for a specific model, while there are millions of posting on the Internet, all different.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        MyNameHere (profile), 2 Jul 2017 @ 1:45am

        Re: Re: The tool argument

        Scale?

        Let's talk scale of profits. Facebook made 10 billion last year profit - 45% operating margin.

        Now, let's say the sacrifice 1/10 of that - 1 billion, and hire a bunch of people at 40k a year (don't hire them in silicon valley!). Let's see, that gets you 25,000 staff. Now, I know they can't read word for word every post, but when combined with a proper flagging system, almost any post could be spotted and dealt with quickly.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 Jul 2017 @ 2:03am

          Re: Re: Re: The tool argument

          25,00 people is not even close to the number that they would want to be able to pro_actively monitor what is being posted. Think of Facebook being all the pubs and cafes in the world under one room, which is what it is, and just how many people, and how intrusive it would be to have all the conversations in those places monitored.

          Give me one good reason why Facebook and the like should be treated any different from real world meeting place owners, and just because the conversations are stored is not good enough.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 2 Jul 2017 @ 9:09am

          Re: Re: Re: The tool argument

          Every 60 seconds on Facebook: 510,000 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated, and 136,000 photos are uploaded.

          Still think 25,000 employees would be enough?

          https://zephoria.com/top-15-valuable-facebook-statistics/

          If each item takes 5 seconds to analyze, and each person works 40 hours per week, it would take 328,650 employees, not counting management. So you were still not correctly accounting for scale, and I hope that you don't still find this a reasonable solution, ignoring for the moment the question of whether Facebook should have to do this in the first place.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 2 Jul 2017 @ 2:50pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The tool argument

            Since nothing obliged them to read every post your point is moot.

            Each person who posts also reads 20 times as many oosts. Crowd source your efforts and tget will give the 25k plenty to look at and will get rid of most of the bad stuff quuckly.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 2 Jul 2017 @ 3:05pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The tool argument

              The huge potential fine, both for the company and the designated scapegoat means they do have to read every post, so no, it's not moot. Now you could argue that they could use a system to find 'problematic' posts to cut down on the numbers, but that's pretty much guaranteed to result in a) lots of false positives, and b) failures to spot all the 'bad' posts. Combine the two and they're essentially right back at 'screen everything'.

              As for the second part, I'm sure that would go over great. Have users hunting through the comments of random people to find 'bad' stuff, what could go wrong?

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              • icon
                MyNameHere (profile), 3 Jul 2017 @ 2:33am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The tool argument

                I think you make a simple mistake here: The German law is being pushed because the companies were not proactive towards cleaning up the sh-t on their sites. A girl can get banned off of Facebook for posting a nipple but hate mongers go on and on without stop.

                The law is a reaction to what is out there, and the uncontrolled nature of it. Facebook (and other social media outlets) could have chosen a different way, but did not.

                The chickens are home to roost.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 3 Jul 2017 @ 3:07am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The tool argument

                  This is typical government, in that they thing that the way to control what people say and think is to have somebody else vet everything before it is made

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  That One Guy (profile), 3 Jul 2017 @ 4:13pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The tool argument

                  The German law is being pushed because the companies were not proactive towards cleaning up the sh-t on their sites.

                  A) Why should they be obligated to proactively 'clean up' their sites?

                  and

                  B) How exactly do you suggest they do so, given the insane amount of content they'd have to wade through on an hourly basis?

                  A girl can get banned off of Facebook for posting a nipple but hate mongers go on and on without stop.

                  If a site wants to go with rules that prohibit exposed breasts, even when it's application can be just a wee bit absurd, that's their business. Conversely, last I knew being a jackass isn't against the law, even when someone takes it above and beyond, so as long as someone isn't specifically violating the rules on a site said site should have no obligations as to how they must deal with them.

                  If they cross the line into actual illegal actions then go after them, laying the blame and responsibility on the site is just laziness on the parts of the police/investigators.

                  The law is a reaction to what is out there, and the uncontrolled nature of it.

                  Yes, damn that uncontrolled free speech thing, the open platforms that allow it by enabling many people to speak and share things without having to have it vetted first, and the fact that this also enables the less than pleasant individuals to have a platform to speak on as well.

                  Truly, uncontrolled speech and the platforms that enable it is the bane of the modern age.

                  Facebook (and other social media outlets) could have chosen a different way, but did not.

                  And what 'different way' could they have gone with that wouldn't have killed off the platforms before they ever took off?

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 4 Jul 2017 @ 4:36am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The tool argument

                    Whatever thinks being a jackass should be against the law because he thinks he's immune.

                    Funny story, that.

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                  • icon
                    MyNameHere (profile), 5 Jul 2017 @ 9:10pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The tool argument

                    A) Why should billboard ad companies not be allowed to have nudes, insults, angry memes, and racist statements on them?

                    B) That's their problem. I call it a business model problem.

                    Most of the social media sites have poor reporting functions, and limited review staff. When compared to the "lifetime" of a post (often only hours or days of relevancy) it means that reporting systems are not effective. Facebook as an example can take a week or longer to respond to a flagged post, if they respond at all. Many sites (such as twitter) seem to provide flagging as a way for you to filter what you see, but not as a tool specifically designed to find bad content.

                    "Yes, damn that uncontrolled free speech thing"

                    I don't damn free speech. However, I understand that free speech has it's limits, and those limits are different in different societies. Even the US, which is about the most open, still has some serious limits on what is considered protected free speech. Free speech is not unlimited, and not without harm to others. Civilized society can see the difference and move forward.

                    "And what 'different way' could they have gone with that wouldn't have killed off the platforms before they ever took off?"

                    The flagging and review systems really need to have a shorter cycle in keeping with the nature of the systems. Flagged posts should be reviewed quickly, and those which violate the community standards (and / or the law) should be dealt with as quickly as possible.

                    See, for me, that is the key. If a twitter post is only relevant for hours, the flag and check process shouldn't take days, it should take minutes. Facebook, where posts maybe go for days, it should happen within say an hour.

                    I also think that social networks could do really well with keyword scanning, looking for terms that may violate the law or violate community standards.

                    In the end, it gets back to deciding to have a business model and concept that accepts that free speech is not absolutely, utterly, and completely unlimited. Accepting that some things are offensive enough to be actionable, and should be dealt with before they blow up (and properly killed off if they do) should be key.

                    Is there a perfect solution? Probably not. But the half hearted (and often non-existent) methods currently in place clearly are lacking, enough that some governments feel the need to write laws. Written laws usually suck and aren't easy to implement, but they exist for good reason. Failure to take action without the law has lead to the law, there really isn't much more to say.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 2 Jul 2017 @ 1:54pm

          Re: Re: Re: The tool argument

          Only one tenth of their income, one billion dollars? Why that's downright dirt cheap!

          ... seriously?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Ninja (profile), 3 Jul 2017 @ 6:31am

          Re: Re: Re: The tool argument

          Youtube receives days worth of footage every single second. How do your wise, omniscient mind propose they preemptively filter the content?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Jul 2017 @ 5:08pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The tool argument

            I think that is called a business model problem. We wouldn't tolerate tv channels running this stuff. Why should YouTube be different?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 3 Jul 2017 @ 6:02pm

              'One of these things is not like the other...'

              A tv channel chooses what to show, and they have exactly one day's worth of content to deal with per day. A site like YT provides a platform that others can choose to post stuff on, and what gets posted is a choice that they have pretty much no input on.

              I'm curious, what 'business model' do you think sites like YT operate under? If their business model was pre-screening content, then yes, I'd agree that having too much to effectively accomplish that would indeed be a 'business model problem'. Since that isn't their business model however I fail to see how it's somehow a problem with said business model.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 4 Jul 2017 @ 1:14am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The tool argument

              YouTube is not a publisher, but rather a platform for the distribution of videos, and it has no more responsibility for the videos that it carries than the postal service has responsibility for the contents of letters and parcels it carries.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Mike Brown (profile), 3 Jul 2017 @ 5:57pm

          Re: Re: Re: The tool argument

          Anyone working at your $40k a year censorship job would be totally ruined if they accidentally let a potentially offensive post through their screen. The law allows for a penalty of 5 million Euros ($5.7 million) to the individual responsible for failing to catch it. We all screw up at work on occasion, but that's just silly. You can take that job and shove it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 3 Jul 2017 @ 6:09pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The tool argument

            I called it the scapegoat clause before, but really it's an excellent way to get a whole lot of people to quit on the spot. No-one with a working brain is going to willingly sign up for a position where they can be bankrupted in a single move like that, and anyone who is already working at a company and gets assigned the position would be smart to quit on the spot for the same reason.

            That clause alone, if the law is allowed to stand, has the potential to cause massive damage to the various companies impacted as people either quit their jobs and/or refuse to apply for them to avoid the life-ruining fine hanging over their heads.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      stderric (profile), 1 Jul 2017 @ 8:02am

      Re: The tool argument

      *At any time, the site owner can say "enough" and turn it off. *

      Then the site owner is capitulating to the 'Troll's Veto'. Why would you *possibly* want such a thing? Oh...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Daniel Audy (profile), 1 Jul 2017 @ 11:18pm

      Re: The tool argument

      The thing is you could put this sort of expectation on a cafe too. Make them responsible for stopping unacceptable conversations and fine them millions of Euro's if they fail to do so. Sure it would be extremely expensive, intrusive, and still ultimately ineffective (just like it will for the internet) but you could insist on it all the same. Somehow people think that when you add the words 'on the internet' magic nerd fairies will swoop in and somehow all the problems that would exist if you applied the exact same rules to meatspace (subjectivity, multiple languages, volume of conversations, privacy violations) vanish like digital mirages.

      Applying rules that would be wildly impractical and ineffective in physical spaces to the internet will result in them still being wildly impractical and ineffective the vast majority of the time. If the government wanted to take on the role of policing comments then they could be held responsible for the massively expensive boondoggle it would turn into and get kicked out of office but by shifting the burden on to the websites there will never being any motivation to acknowledge the failure or rectify the mistake.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Jul 2017 @ 12:17am

      Re: The tool argument

      Apparently, even after your ISP chose to finally get their act together, you just can't resist a jab at the website flagging your spam. Constructive contribution right there.

      So if a website's bot allows something through they deserve a fine, but when copyright enforcement bots flag something incorrectly it's all shrugs and excuses...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Jul 2017 @ 2:56pm

      Re: The tool argument

      That is akin to holding a bar responsible for every whisper each person does in any arbitrary corner of it. It's flat out ridiculous and your argument is weak.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Jul 2017 @ 3:08am

    illegal speech

    So all that has to happen now for a full on return to the dark ages is for someone to pass a blasphemy law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ishtiaq (profile), 1 Jul 2017 @ 3:34am

    Blasphemy Law

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Not that Mike, the other Mike., 1 Jul 2017 @ 3:40am

    Hitler is back.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Case, 1 Jul 2017 @ 4:29am

    So much fear mongering, so little thought

    >>Germany has moved forward with a plan to fine internet companies which don't quickly censor the internet. Censor what, though? Three loosely defined (and easily abused) categories: hate speech, criminal material and fake news. <<


    Let's rephrase that with less drama, less moral furor and without the false claim about "fake news": Providers have to act on reports of illegal material hosted on their services. If they do that in a relatively timely manner, they are exempted from any responsibility a la Section 230. Only if a providers consistently fails to remove illegal material from their services do they end up holding the bag.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Jul 2017 @ 5:05am

      Re: So much fear mongering, so little thought

      Aye, but here’s the rub: How are they supposed to know what content counts as illegal? Laws with such broad wording at this one offer no space for context (e.g., “Is this satire?”). The “hate speech” moniker proves this because the government gets to decide what is and is not “hate speech”, and it will phrase it as broadly as possible so that it would have an advantage in court.

      In America, so-called “hate speech” is legal. That is, in part, because no court or lawmaker has ever offered a definition for the phrase that strikes as narrow a field of speech as possible. The phrase is a sledgehammer—a tool of blunt force trauma intended to hit as wide a space as possible so it also hits an intended target. Any law that intends to govern speech should be a scalpel—a tool of precision that cuts away an intended target while leaving the surrounding area intact and undamaged.

      If you can show me how Germany’s law is a scalpel instead of a sledgehammer, by all means, go ahead. If you cannot, please call this for what it is: a broadly-worded law meant to punish platforms instead of people.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Richard (profile), 1 Jul 2017 @ 3:21pm

        Re: Re: So much fear mongering, so little thought

        a broadly-worded law meant to punish platforms instead of people. No - it is a law designed to make platforms punish people.

        Most platforms don't really care - they only want to make money and they will submit to anything provided it allows them to carry on doing it.

        Look at the concessions that facebook has made to Pakistan:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoq1JAuzRfM

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Jul 2017 @ 4:23pm

          Re: Re: Re: So much fear mongering, so little thought

          The platforms punish people because the platforms face much harsher punishment—that is, a lack of income and possible government sanctions—for daring to go against laws such as these. If these kinds of “hate speech” laws did not exist, the platforms would have every right to decide for themselves what would and would not be permissible content.

          The government should not be in the business of telling a platform what it will and will not allow its users to say. That way lies censorship and madness. I do not like Neo-Nazis and racists and bigots in general, but if a platform wants to allow such people to speak their minds, said platform should have that right.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Case, 2 Jul 2017 @ 6:37am

        Re: Re: So much fear mongering, so little thought

        >>Aye, but here’s the rub: How are they supposed to know what content counts as illegal? <<
        Because the law specifically lists which paragraphs will be covered.

        >>Laws with such broad wording<<
        Which wording exactly?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 2 Jul 2017 @ 7:08am

          Re: Re: Re: So much fear mongering, so little thought

          The phrase “hate speech”, pretty much. I have never seen a workable definition of the phrase that cuts away a narrow field of speech with the kind of surgical precision necessary for an “anti-hate speech” law to make sense.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Case, 2 Jul 2017 @ 1:03pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: So much fear mongering, so little thought

            The phrase "hate speech" (or its German equivalent) does not appear anywhere in the law. Please give me an actual example of "such broad wording" from the actual wording of the law...

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Jul 2017 @ 10:45pm

      Re: So much fear mongering, so little thought

      Except this is Germany... not the us. Germany likely doesn't care about us law, they don't care that the internet dose not stop at their border. just like most countries these days.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Jul 2017 @ 4:52am

    Just a little bit of perspective...

    Not that I am in favor of this particular bill (in fact, I believe it to be a terrible piece of legislation, precisely because of it's chilling effect on companies and their tendency to then over-compensate in order to not be fined), it does sometimes help to actually look at the bill in question before commenting.

    Small companies will not be affected, because it only kicks in once you have over 2 million members/customers/users in Germany. So that startup is not going to be immediately worried.

    Also, the kind of stuff that has to be removed is actually pretty well defined in German criminal law, and only content that is 'obviously illegal' (whatever the courts someday decide that should mean...) has to be promptly removed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Jul 2017 @ 5:18am

      Re: Just a little bit of perspective...

      Small companies will not be affected, because it only kicks in once you have over 2 million members/customers/users in Germany. So that startup is not going to be immediately worried.

      One any kind of legislation has been brought in by any government for any size, it is a simple thing to change that legislation to include smaller sized entities (or if brought in for smaller entities then to change it to larger sized entities). It happens regularly all over the world. Germany is no different. This can happen quickly.

      Also, the kind of stuff that has to be removed is actually pretty well defined in German criminal law, and only content that is 'obviously illegal' (whatever the courts someday decide that should mean...) has to be promptly removed.

      If it is defined in law, then these laws can be extended by simple changes by the government of the day. obviously illegal is a very slippery slope.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    slap (profile), 1 Jul 2017 @ 4:54am

    Fining the person designated to deal with complaints

    "Aside from the hefty fine for companies, the law also provides for fines of up to €5m for the person each company designates to deal with the complaints procedure if it doesn’t meet requirements."

    Too bad politicians and bureaucrats can't be fined for passing bad laws.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Jul 2017 @ 5:03am

    quit whining slaves

    quit whining slaves

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Jul 2017 @ 5:18am

    So will German MPs be fined when they lie directly and deliberately to the public and refuse to issue a full public apology (i.e. removing the content) ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ThaumaTechnician (profile), 1 Jul 2017 @ 5:33am

    Consider the histories...

    ".. Europe has very different standards for free expression -- and Germany, in particular, has a long history of trying to suppress what it considers "bad" speech regarding some of its historical actions.."

    While I realize that Mike's article is about the misplaced cost/effect of Germany's law(s), the comments here...

    It's astounding that in this modern, well-informed age, someone has to go over the history, but considering how so many 'Mercans refuse to know anything about, well, anything...:

    Really, someone thinks North Korea is where Turkey is?

    Europe as a whole, and Germany in particular, suffered much much from WWII. That war is the very reason why Europe, and Germany in particular, places a much greater value on privacy than, say, the USA.
    Lives were saved because officials and regular people refused to provide personal information about their neighbours, their citizens - and these people paid dearly for doing the right thing. I suggest you read Edwin Black's IBM and the Holocaust. http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/b/black-ibm.html

    The war, and Germany's role in it, are the reasons why hate speech is largely banned in Germany. Any German school child knows this.

    Contrast this with the USA, which watched from the sidelines for the first two years of that war, was largely untouched by the war. It could be legitimately argued that the USA profited immensely from that war.

    This lack of destruction, of suffering, of guilt (read Black's book, eh) by Americans in general is the reason why the American population has no qualms about bombing any country "back to the middle ages".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ThaumaTechnician (profile), 1 Jul 2017 @ 5:45am

      Re: Consider the histories...

      Crap! Hit the wrong button...

      The USA, on the other hand, suppresses speech that isn't within prescribed parameters not by laws, but by the news media, by Congress and the Senate, and by sheer mouth-breather stupidity (remember Freedom Fries?).

      How many people have been killed, tortured, and disappeared by American government and American organizations (the CIA, the Project for the New American Century, the Contras, heck even the United Fruit Company, to name but a few), for their views, for their speech, for their democratic choices?

      Draw up your own list. I'll start: all of Central and South America, Vietnam, Cambodia, East Timor, Iraq, Afghanistan...

      If I was an American, I wouldn't be so smug vis-à-vis Germany.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 2 Jul 2017 @ 9:29am

        Re: Re: Consider the histories...

        Wait, all of Central and South America, Vietnam, Cambodia, East Timor, Iraq, and Afghanistan have been "killed, tortured, and disappeared by American government and American organizations"? I would have thought I'd hear about something like that.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Cowherd, 1 Jul 2017 @ 5:49am

    Fixed

    Freedom of speech ends where tyranny begins.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Jul 2017 @ 6:40am

    The way I understand it is corporate America created Adolph Hitler as a counter to the Russian threat. Frightened people do stupid things, and as all freedom loving Americans know, the Russians are always bad.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kevin Hayden, 1 Jul 2017 @ 7:52am

    Can of worms - One country's free speech is another country's hate speech

    So what happens when someone in a country with strong free speech laws posts something to a social media platform like Facebook that the Germans don't like? If it gets taken down globally (thanks Supreme Court of Canada), can the poster then sue the social media platform for supressing his/her free speech? What happens if the poster wins and a court orders the speech to be reinstated? The platform will be in violation of the law somewhere - a truly no-win situation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 2 Jul 2017 @ 9:30am

      Re: Can of worms - One country's free speech is another country's hate speech

      If it gets taken down globally (thanks Supreme Court of Canada), can the poster then sue the social media platform for supressing his/her free speech?

      They could of course sue for anything, but social media companies have no legal obligation to publish anything just because you hit sumbit.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Jul 2017 @ 3:05pm

        Re: Re: Can of worms - One country's free speech is another country's hate speech

        At what point do the social media companies become agents of the state? Your argument is akin to having the control of the government but the "freedoms" of a private business.

        Trying to have your cake and eat it too will lead to poor results.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Jul 2017 @ 9:31am

    No worries!

    The BVerfG (Federal Constitutional Court) will declare that law unconstitutional. The braindead German government may not outsource judicial power and executive authority to companies. That is a violation of the basics of a constitutional democracy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kennith Perry, 1 Jul 2017 @ 1:47pm

    I'm not suprised

    I am suprised this hasn't been tried in the United States yet.

    Sieg Heil!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Stosh, 1 Jul 2017 @ 10:40pm

    Right wing hate speech is anything the left hates, as is left wing hate speech anything the right hates. Add in "fake news" as any story without verifiable named sources and there's going to be an awful lot of blank white pages on the German internet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Jul 2017 @ 10:43pm

    my ignorance here is something to behold, but i don't see how this is vaguely possible.

    i think i would declare anyone for whom germany has howdy duty to be ineligible to use the service and make germany keep its peanut gallery at bay.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Jul 2017 @ 5:59am

    Since this law is so bloody unspecific on how to decide what to censor, couldn't fb, twitter and the likes, you know, censor posts of, say, certain government officials who pushed for this shitty law? To be on the safe side, obviously! It just needs to be reported for hatespeech by someone, eh?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    anonymous coward, 3 Jul 2017 @ 5:36am

    Germany's hate speech laws

    This is just another shakedown of mostly foreign companies to help Germany maintain an unfair balance of trade. It's about grabbing money from foreign companies to encourage the locals to provide innovative platforms that they didn't originate. Nothing to see here, move along...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Jul 2017 @ 10:51am

    A little offtopic a little off-musing, read at the risk of your own boredom perhaps

    I was thinking about a video i saw a couple weeks ago, in it, a police officer pulls over a car owner who obviously regarded the constitution as a good thing(in america by the way), driver attempts to exercise the rights written long ago, as you might imagine, some police officers as seen in other videos dont take kindly to their authority or their percieved authority i should say, being questioned, this particular officer not being an exception, loses his cool, and his voice does its best to reach the higher decibles, any way, a heated argument ensues, the very "agitated" police officer says/shouts, and im paraphrasing, something along the lines of " your rights are a privilage"

    Now, what that man/officer said, suddenly came to mind yesterday, i guess, because my mind made a realisation then, i mean, when i heard that man say that, i couldnt think up a response at the time, even though the fiber of my very being new that statement was .....wrong.....morally wrong, ethically wrong, but intellectually, i couldnt explain why.......legality today has no morals it seems, no time for ethics, and yet some folks follow whats legal/illegal without question.......which is infuriating to see sometimes, especially when the act being proposed cant get any more black and white in its clarity, one side good, one side bad........where some might say collateral damage, others might say innocent life

    Anyway, its not a big revelation, at least to me its a small revelation in the accumilation of ongoing small revelation as my life troddles on, but i just realised, that guy had it backwards, intentionally or ignorantly i dont know, but im pretty sure its

    "Your, AUTHORITY, is the PRIVILAGE, NOT, the RIGHT"

    A privilage can be taken away, NOT a right

    Instinctual right to survive to defend, for example
    I think its a fundamental right of the earth from its very beginings, authority is a man made concept, given to those in agreement that they'll use it to maintain the peace, and taken away when its abused.......at least, today, thats what we should strive for, accountability and transparency,from EVERY government, so that we can "clean our house"

    I mean its one thing to have these thoughts as a member of the public which is none of my business untill it starts to interfere in my life or others without consent, but if you cant practice a fair unbiased approach to things, then these folks have no right to be in a position of authority....not to mention, morality, ethics and conviction to stand behind them

    Not to strip the rights that people had to fight for, and that future generations would benefit

    I think that may have been more offtopic, and more random then i was originally expecting

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jul 2017 @ 1:25am

      Re:

      Look at it from a cynical point of view: there never really were any human or constitutional rights.

      It was simply convenient for those in power to play pretend with the unwashed masses, mostly to keep themselves in power.
      Now that technology has caught up, prepare to see every dystopian trope (and then some) come true.

      Obviously you can bring up the fact that that hate speech is evil or malicious or rude, in bad taste, which is true.
      But in practice hate speech law mostly targets dumb or drunken statements made by caucasian, cis-gendered men.

      In fact unless grievous bodily harm happens, anyone who isn't a cis-white-male else usually gets away with hate speech.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Châu, 4 Jul 2017 @ 1:59am

    Kelvin 451

    Title for new updated Sci Fi book about governments ban all free speech, blogs, internet, songs, movies, and books because may be offend people.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chombs, 4 Jul 2017 @ 1:14pm

    And where is the goddmamn DUE PROCESS before deciding if something is illegal, criminal, fake news or hate speech?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Jul 2017 @ 1:29pm

    Delete this, fucking nazis.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Jul 2017 @ 1:51pm

    Welcome to the information wars and the propaganda wars people. Where everybody says "we are honest", but nobody can prove it. Where everybody says "we are better" despite being an idiotic comment. Where everybody has facts. Where everybody accuses everybody else of being a fascist.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michael W. Perry, 5 Jul 2017 @ 12:18pm

    Damn with vigorous enforcement

    I'd suggest that Google and their kin to adapt the expression, "Damn with faint praise" to this situation. Call it "Damn with vigorous enforcement."

    Create a list of those who support this law and block any statement they make that can possibly be construed as "hate speech." Display in its place, "This statement by XXX has been removed consistent with law YYY because it might be construed as hate speech."

    Let these politicians try to conduct a political campaign under those conditions. Let them try to draw attention to their POV in any debate, when their remarks are in any way critical of some other person or group. Indeed, let them try to defend this law when all their efforts to defend it get branded "hate speech" directed a online providers.

    That should prove fun.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Gloria, 20 Jul 2017 @ 3:15am

    I think we've reached the point where this is necessary. Laws in Europe have long differed with regard to "free speech." The tech companies could have done more globally to preclude such action, but they're about maximizing profits (using the guise of "free speech" as an excuse for their general disregard for any types of standards regarding this type of content). Once I was writing a piece on terror online for the essay service and found out that YouTube until recently was actually monetizing videos that contained terror or hate filled content. Only after advertisers finally stood up and said "enough" did YouTube/Google take any action. Sadly, they will push the envelope as far as possible until some external force, be it government or the marketplace, rein them in.

    We have entered a new period when it comes to communication. Saying things online that can be easily digested, shared, spread is not the same as speech or even newspapers or books. The difference is the time and effort needed, plus the sheer mass of information flowing.

    I don't think this will be the solution, but appreciate that we need to do something. The real world consequences of this massive info flow has been shown to be very dangerous already.

    The reality is that democracy, like capitalism, and in fact like almost any system can not simply run unfettered. There has to be oversight and rules, or power concentrates with extremes.

    I don't know that Germany has the solution, but glad to see that they understand there is a problem and want to do something about it. We should learn from them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 7:07am

      Re:

      I don't think this will be the solution, but appreciate that we need to do something.

      Something must be done. This is something, therefore it must be done.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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