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Brickbat: Take It Off

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Jovani Carlo Gorospe / Dreamstime.com

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas says the government is drafting laws that could fine social media companies up to $53 million if they don't remove slanderous or threatening posts within 24 hours. In addition, the law would allow a company's top representative in Germany to be fined personally up to $5.3 million if such material is not removed in 24 hours.

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  1. Germany already has some of the world’s toughest hate speech laws covering defamation, slander, public incitement to commit crimes and threats of violence, backed up by prison sentences for Holocaust denial or inciting hatred against minorities.

    Some might phrase that as having the weakest speech protections. No journalists, of course.

  2. The Central Council of Jews in Germany welcomed the new law.

    “We do not want an internet police or thought control,” the council’s president, Josef Schuster, said.

    I sense a but coming.

    “But when hatred is stoked, and the legal norms in our democracy threaten to lose their relevance, then we need to intervene.”

    You know who else wanted to eliminate undesirable elements from society and seize their wealth?

    1. Morrissey?

      1. Bernie Sanders?

    2. Nicholas Maduro?

    3. Tony?

    4. the legal norms in our democracy threaten to lose their relevance

      How does free speech threaten the relevance of legal norms in a democracy? Is this code for worrying that free speech will cause people to vote the wrong way? Or code for thinking that voting the wrong way should be illegal? How do we parse this word soup?

      1. I assume the reasoning got lost in translation.

    5. Mao, Stalin, Ceau?escu, Hitler, FDR- all socialists

    6. Bernie Sanders?

    7. The guy who killed Inigo Montoya’s father?

    8. Ganondorf?

    9. moose & squirrel?

  3. Well, speech will be regulated eventually.

    So prepare for thought control.

    Only when these nefarious laws start to actually touch large numbers of people will idiot people who supported the ‘yeah but’ version of free speech will get it.

  4. Can you still tack your profane material to a cathedral door?

    1. only if written on human skin!

  5. I would love to see:

    Am complying with German anti-slander law. As of [date], facebook.ge is suspended, accessing Facebook from a computer based in Germany is no longer allowed in the user agreement. Any such access will be in violation of the Acceptable Use Policy and applicable law.
    — Mark Zuckerberg

    I mean, it’s not like they are making a profit there (or anywhere). Why not push back?

    1. Yep, it is time for corporate citizens to stand up to tyranny. Facebook should just cut Germany off completely, pull any employees from there, and move any server farms to greener pastures. Get any funds out of any German banks and tell the German people they can have there addiction back after the election where politicians are elected who repeal that law.
      Coke & Pepsi and other soda manufactures/distributors should just pull out of Philadelphia until the “soda tax” is repealed. The short term losses (if any) will more than make up for loss of control of your product.

      1. The producers go on strike? How Randian of you. Aren’t you aware that she was a horrible person, couldn’t write worth a damn, did cartoon characters and impossible scenarios, smoked, etc. etc.?

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