Germany Plans to Fine Facebook 500K for Every ‘Fake News’ Item not Removed

Germany is planning to impose hefty fines against Facebook for each time it fails to remove “fake news’ from its site within 24 hours. The fines will be a whopping €500,000 for every item falling into the false or hate speech category.

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Germany is planning to impose hefty fines against Facebook for each time it fails to remove “fake news’ from its site within 24 hours. The fines will be a whopping €500,000 for every item falling into the false or hate speech category.

Facebook, in the past, has worked with organizations in Germany to do just that – to remove offensive content – however, the nation’s plan to impose fines for disseminating fake news is a slippery slope towards a form of censorship, “as ‘fake news is often a matter of opinion,” reports Claire Bernish.

“The move is partly in response to fears that fake news posts could have an affect on the German parliamentary elections taking place in 2017, according to the Financial Times. Facebook has repeatedly said since the Nov. 8 election of Donald Trump in the US that fake news on its site, which has roughly 180 million users in the US and Canada, could not have affected the election,” the Quartz reported.

The Facebook blame very quickly led to a finger-pointing of the cause of fake news towards those in independent, alternative and right viewed media outlets, rather than considering the inadequacies of an election enabling a Donald Trump presidency, instead. Now Germany is worried about their own elections.

Deutsche Welle conveyed that ‘victims’ of hate speech and fake news, under the German plans, could contact Facebook requesting immediate action. If action isn’t taken within the 24 hour period, the fine would be imposed.

Arguably, this leads to the ‘fake news’ question: What is considered fake news? Will this amount to a “blatant censorship of all ideas not in lock step with the neoliberal establishment,” Bernish asks – and rightly so. Does this mean one opinion is fake while another is valued all because of popularity? Does Facebook really modify an election outcome and is it really the fake news that sways opinion? Realistically, no. Maybe, just maybe in the instance of the US elections, people were just plain pissed off with the status quo… by I digress.

It’s a dangerous precedent to be set. Opinion has suddenly become the enemy – and what constitutes the enemy – no one is really willing to elaborate. It’s a law against free speech, the media and the citizen.

Publishing truthful content is always the end goal for a journalist worth their salt. Sometimes they make mistakes, sometimes the report isn’t favourable – and yes, some are blatantly dishonest. But by what tools, opinions and methods is the fake news determined? Hate speech is easier to decipher, but news?

This step will no doubt leach its way into the editor’s room where self-censorship becomes the norm. The mildest forms of censorship are the inches that will eventually give way to miles. Do you really want an Orwellian 1984 world or would you prefer to have the choice of opinion?


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2 COMMENTS

  1. internet users were few and far between in the 1990’s young people that could use a computer proficiently draw a picture with mind and create sounds true music with a purpose visual art with a purpose any expression with a purpose to do anything was rare the real rare individuals the nonconformist backbone that is keeping this world from complete destruction e’ery day the people who we call true artist and the preservation culture the ones that walk against the lemming hordes that we call society at large the spoon fed pre packaged just to fit the norm blind consumerist following the machine governmental economic money farms aimed only at gain at the expense individuality from suicidal rush ignorant to the absurdity the fact the mainstream force feeds over indulged children to sate their cries for acceptance the stupid whelps torture one another e’ery day to show off their new disposable trend parents taking it to the bank fuck that i say king and country can kiss it’s own ass break this house made from gasoline drenched playing cards this modern economic push to brainwash the masses with conditioning tactics only geared towards controlling the many while taking this boat all the way to the bottom no remorse in their lies no heat in their strategy no voice in their action internet society is not what it used to be people the few who know the few who keep the block from falling over the ones to knock down this charade we call mass media.

  2. Jesus, Buddha, Moses, and Mohammed walk into a bar.  Within minutes a big brawl erupts around them.  The bartender turns to Jesus and asks, “Why is this happening?”
    Jesus replies, “How in the hell would we know?  We just came here to watch the game.”

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