Germany Fines Facebook EUR 2 Million For Violating Internet Law


German Federal Office of Law has fined social media giant Facebook 2 million euros for violating provisions of the Network Enforcement Act. It is accused that Facebook failed to meet transparency requirements for its handling of hate speech complaints. Regarding the issue, German Authorities said the following in a press conference:

The number of complaints received about illegal content is incomplete. This creates a distorted picture in the public about the extent of illegal content and the way the social network deals with them.

The Network Enforcement Act makes it compulsory for social media firms to present a transparency report every six months. The German Law authorities have accused the social media giant of not compiling the German norms and have added the following regarding the violation of their law:

The published transparency report is not complete with regard to the information on the organization, the linguistic competence of the employees and the training of the persons responsible for the handling of complaints.

In response to this development, Facebook spokesperson reacted by saying:

We want to remove hate speech as quickly and effectively as possible and work hard to do so. We are confident our published NetzDG reports are in accordance with the law, but as many critics have pointed out, this law lacks clarity. We will analyze the fine notice carefully and reserve the rights to appeal.

Lately, Facebook has been under scrutiny by regulators all around the world since the Cambridge Analytical Scandal last year. It is having cases pending in Italy and the UK has already imposed a fine of £500,000 on Facebook for failing to protect the user data. The Federal Trade Commission in the US has pressed charges on the social media firm regarding privacy violations which if proved true, could lead to the imposition of fines ranging between 3 billion to 5 billion USD.  Upcoming days seems very tough for Facebook.

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