The irrational fear that the nation is now going to hell in a handbasket because of a sudden, never-before-encountered spate of “fake news” just went global.
According to Digital Trends, the German government announced Sunday that the nation may pass laws that clamp down on social media sites, including Facebook, that fail to purge fake newd from their platforms.
Tech companies could be fined up to 500,000 euros for effectively “publishing” misleading or false content. Germany plans on giving social media firms 24 hours to comply.
“Defamation and malicious gossip are not covered under freedom of speech,” Heiko Maas said Sunday in an interview with a German newspaper, adding, “Justice authorities must prosecute that, even on the internet. Anyone who tries to manipulate the political discussion with lies needs to be aware [of the consequences].”
German legislators brought up the possibility of added measures to help expand their already far-reaching anti-defamation laws.
“After years of discussions, the social media must now unfortunately be forced to take responsibility,” said Volker Kauder, the parliamentary floor leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, according to The Wall Street Journal. “Only in this way we can counter further brutalization and willful manipulation of political debate in the net.”
Facebook recently published a job listing looking for a “Head of News Partnerships” on its website.
The dissemination and spread of what is considered fake news has caused quite an uproar, especially after fake online news incited a man to fire a rifle inside a Washington, D.C., pizzeria earlier in the month. There were unfounded and fabricated reports of the restaurant harboring child sex slaves and how this was in some way connected to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
This report, by Eric Lieberman, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.