Germany's new law on freedom of speech online: Make or break?
Germany's new law on freedom of speech online: Make or break?

September 19| Germany

A new law has passed in Germany which has imposed a tighter grip on the freedom of speech. In a recent law passed in Germany, people in Germany have to be more careful with their figure of speech and display of content online. A slight tinge of carelessness might cost an individual. The law called ‘Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz’ –NetzDG will monitor the content posted on social media on daily basis to assess and eliminate the objectionable content within 24 hours. According to the law, an individual is refrained from posting hate speech or objectionable content on social media. In case, content has been recognized as objectionable, the individual is required to delete the content within 24 hours.

The laws will change the rules and regulations and the amount of fine shall be increased. One thing that remains same is the definition of hate speech in Germany. Usage of certain words like and certain Nazi symbols, flags and other symbols of extremist groups are banned in Germany

New Law Higher fines

In case the content is not put off within 24 hours as per the guidelines, a fine up to Euros 50 million shall be imposed upon the individual. As a ‘progress’ towards a society under surveillance, Russia has been motivated to learn from Germany and create similar laws.

Reception of the Law

The law has received mixed reactions so far in Germany. A wide number of people have criticized the new law and the facebook has displayed its disagreement on the matter. The UN has warned German Government about the possible drastic and negative consequences of the same.

Some sections of the society have received the law actively believing that a lot of fake content or false news have been circulated on social media. They believe that such a law will make people more responsible and help in contributing to the prevention of spread of any rumours.

For the content which is not hateful necessary but still violated the law, facebook and other social media websites will have the time of seven days to take an action.

There is a need to contemplate and reconsider the laws and discuss the spectrum of the freedom of speech





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