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BERLIN — Germany officially unveiled a landmark social media bill Wednesday that could quickly turn this nation into a test case in the effort to combat the spread of fake news and hate speech in the West.

The highly anticipated draft bill is also highly contentious, with critics denouncing it as a curb on free speech. If passed, as now appears likely, the measure would compel large outlets such as Facebook and Twitter to rapidly remove fake news that incites hate, as well as other “criminal” content, or face fines as high as 50 million euros ($53 million).

Continue reading:  How do you stop fake news? In Germany, with a law.

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4 thoughts on “How do you stop fake news? In Germany, with a law.

    • The Borowitz Report is promoted as political satire, not news; so, there shouldn’t be any confusion. However, your point is well taken. When government (or any official authority) becomes the arbiter of what is or isn’t real news, then the “slippery slope” argument concerned with infringement of free speech rights become valid.

      Still, there’s another concern here that is a pet peeve of mine. We in the blogging community frequently engage in the same kind of shoddy journalism we systematically accuse the mainstream media of. We “play fast and loose” with the facts. We do not distinguish between our subjective opinions and what we objectively know to be true. We make shit up (i.e. “news”) just to be provocative or to advance some personal agenda. Considering the effect it has via social media, it’s understandable why Germany is taking this extreme action.

  1. Are hate speech, incitement of violence, and defamation allowed in our newspapers or on our TV stations? No. These are crimes, not free speech. Enforce the laws we already have, and you don’t need to create new ones. Besides, tracking down these criminals will create jobs.

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