Recently Facebook confirmed its partnership with the fact-checking sites to help weed out fake news that is plaguing the platform. But Germany fears that this self-regulation process will not be enough to deal with all the misinformation. And now Germany has threatened Facebook the possibility of facing a massive fine on its fake news.
The new law would require Facebook and other social networking websites to remove fake news and hate speeches from their platforms. Otherwise a future legislation of €500,000 ($523,320) would be imposed on all the social networking websites. Thomas Opperman, the Chairman of Germany’s Social Democratic Party pointed out Facebook for this fake news issue but the message delivered takes all the social networking sites into account.
According to the statement, the social media website Facebook failed to regulate the fake news issue on its own. Therefore leading social networking platforms such as Facebook are required to set up an office in the country to deal with the hate speech and fake news 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. But if Facebook’s local office failed to delete any offending messages within 24 hours then after proper inspection, the company would be charged with fine up to 500,000 euros at the request of concerned people.
Being a US-based company it’s not sure how Germany would have any option of collecting the fines or even force the social network to shut down. This move is in response to fears that fake news posts can influence the German Parliamentary Elections that will be taking place in 2017. Nearly Facebook’s 2-billion users approximately 36.8 million are accounted as German users. It stands for being the eighth on the list of most users by country along with Philippines and UK. It will be a blow to some extent but loosing such a big market would not cause the world’s leading social networking giant to shut down.
Facebook can insist on its platform for user-created content and the fine should be directed towards individuals who are a source of fake news. For dealing with this issue a joint effort is required by all countries with social networks instead of just targeting one company with charges.
Via: The Guardian