Tech

Germany fines Facebook €2M for violating hate speech law

BERLIN — Germany has fined U.S. tech giant Facebook for violating the countrys law to combat hate speech online, officials said Tuesday.

The Federal Office for Justice (BfJ), a subdivision of the German justice ministry, announced that it had issued Facebook a fine of €2 million for failing to meet the requirements of Berlins Network Enforcement Act, a law against illegal content, in its transparency report for the first half of 2018.

The fine is a small amount compared with Facebooks first-quarter revenues of more than $15 billion. But it has symbolic weight, marking the first time that a European country has sanctioned an American social media giant for failing to be transparent about the way it handles hate speech.

“In the penalty charge notice, the BfJ reprimands in particular that in the released report, the number of received complaints about unlawful content is incomplete,” the office said in its announcement, adding that this “is creating a distorted image in the public about the extent of unlawful content [on the platform] and the way the social network is dealing with it.”

Facebook can still lodge an appeal to the fine, the BfJ said.

Under the law, which is known as NetzDG and took effect on January 1, 2018, companies are required to publish a report twice a year in German regarding complaints they havRead More – Source