Magazine article Information Management

Germany's Network Enforcement Act Affects EU Social Media

Magazine article Information Management

Germany's Network Enforcement Act Affects EU Social Media

Article excerpt

Last summer, hate speech and "fake news," possibly exported from Russia, were inundating social media and dramatically affecting the German federal election process. The German right-wing populist party AfD was gaining momentum with the help of social media as well. Some politicians were bullied and threatened on various social media platforms.

According to an item on Law.com, an alliance of hardline policymakers and left-wing politicians pushed through the Network Enforcement Act, which seeks to combat the risk of foreign fake news campaigns and to stem the rise of the far right in social media.

In short, the law, which became effective in October, requires social media companies to suppress illegal content in their networks.

Social networks with more than 2 million registered users in Germany must suppress illegal content. They don't have to search for it, butthey must ensure there is a mechanism for reporting illegal content, and they then must remove it.

In part, the act requires these social media providers to ensure that illegal content on their networks has a timely removal, although a prolonged period is possible when facts are in dispute. …

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