Germany approves bill curbing online hate crime, fake news

April 05, 2017 - 5:32 am

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's Cabinet has approved a new bill on curbing hate comments and fake news on social media.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet on Wednesday agreed on rules that would impose fines of up to 50 million euros (53.4 million dollars) on social networking sites that fail to swiftly remove illegal content, such as hate speech or defamatory "fake news."

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas said that companies offering such online platforms are responsible for removing hateful content.

Maas said: "Just like on the streets, there is also no room for criminal incitement on social networks."

The minister added that measures to combat hate speech and so-called fake news will ultimately have to be taken at the European level to be effective.

The bill still needs parliamentary approval.

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