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Brickbat: Banned in Germany

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The German government will start enforcing a law requiring social media site to remove hate speech and fake news. Companies will have 24 hours after being alerted to remove material that obviously violates the law and a week to remove material if there is some question it violates the law. They face fines of up to 50 million euros if they fail to comply with the law.

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  1. If only something like this had been in place in 1933.

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  2. I hope that any site based outside of Germany will respond to such an alert with a blue streak of cursing in Yiddish.

    -jcr

  3. Hate speech has an important religious tradition. Jesus Christ was put to death for hate speech. His hate speech undermined respect for the ruling class and those submissive to them.

    1. He called the religious (political) elite:

      Hypocrites
      Blind guides
      Blind fools
      Whitewashed tombs
      Snakes
      Sons of vipers
      Descendants of those who murdered the prophets
      Filthy
      Full of greed and self-indulgence
      Murderers

    2. Excellent point – thank you!

    1. “Bionic penis” was my nickname in college.*

      *No, no it wasn’t. Not even close.

      1. Bubonic? Just a thought…

      2. Huh. Most people just called me Dick. Same concept, I guess. Except for the bionic thing…

    2. Wow, thanks for the tip.

      From the article: Harmony allowed the android companions to talk, learn and satisfy customer’s sexual desires.

      Oye vey. This is upping the ante for men everywhere.

  4. Germans gonna German

    Have they established MiniTruth and MiniLuv to pronounce on what is Fake News and what is Hate Speech?

  5. In the UK, politicians have been sharply critical of social sites, calling them a “disgrace” and saying they were “shamefully far” from doing a good job of policing hate speech and other offensive content.

    The European Commission also published guidelines calling on social media sites to act faster to spot and remove hateful content.

    I can’t see any way that having politicians and bureaucrats deciding what speech is “hateful” could be a problem.

  6. I think they have really, really jumped the gun with these “sex robots.” One company already makes nonmotorized “sex dolls” that are aesthetically far, far superior to these “robots” and probably far cheaper. And I think that, in order for the client to experience any psychological benefit over a very lifelike doll, the animatronics (the motion and the interaction) will have to be very impressive–orders of magnitude more impressive than anything we’ve seen out of any android segment ever demonstrated at any electronics show or lab. Partway there will not do much of any good at all. We’re just not anywhere close to making a lifelike robot at this point in time, let alone one that could arouse any sexual feelings over and above its static verisimilitude.

    1. Strange tangent Diego… does this have anything to do with Germany? But a more important question: can this robot drain your wallet with stupid money decisions the way a wife can? There’s work left to do in the VR world…

      1. Strange tangent Diego…

        Tell that to Crusty…and “Weak replying Diego” to Diego.

        But yes. I was going to put in something about how in addition to movement that is not very natural in its smoothness being useless, AI that is not very natural is essentially useless. In fact, it only deprives the robot of an advantage of the original doll–shutting the fuck up. I doubt anyone has been fucking the doll wishing it provided more stilted, unnatural interaction. (I can get that from my last two exes. Hello!)

  7. A fine of 50 million Euros? WTF?

    Since the Gov. has the guns and the capacity to levy fines, if I were running one of these social media sites, I’d put the burden on the Gov.

    Any time “they” require a hate speech to be removed, invite them to come on down to the corporate office, give “them” the security access they require, and tell them to delete away.

    At least it will be clear to the users who they should vote against next election.

    1. I like that. But it’s go a step further. Go ahead and grant then waves remotely full time. Encourage then to delete non-stop. That will quickly build up.

      1. How the hell access was written as waves is beyond me.

        1. Is ‘access’ a synonym of ‘waiver’ which is similar to ‘waves’?…actually, I got nothing.

        2. Goes by key position on the keyboard. w-a are nearby, probably stuttered briefly,c-v are nearby …..

  8. What a world. If you kill somebody, you get a trial and something approximating “due process”. But… open your yap, and some faceless commisar will put you out of business faster than your lawyer can set a hearing date to get both sides of the coin looked at. So what is the game Germany is playing? It’s a backdoor way for the ensconced power class to shut out opposition by making sure nobody hears their arguments. That way Merkel & company can be propped up to keep Bundesbank money flowing into the ever hemorraging EU and it’s hapless structure. Expect the same results as LePen in France, where plain jane nationalists are unfairly grouped in with modern day Nazi pinheads [that actually may be dangerous to peace and security] by modern day fascists screaming ‘hate speech’ at anyone who disagrees with their regular looting of the treasury in the name of the people.
    Germany needs another Martin Luther type to emerge – somebody that has a heart for truth, and will go to the source of any matter regardless of whose ox is gored. Absent that, they are suffering some type of occupation and are a far cry from the people where some emigrated to the free world and help establish the US so long ago.

    1. What game is Germany playing? Probably the same game I’m becoming convinced the rest of the EU is: they’re seeking to either make a mint off US tech companies, or to drive them out of the EU so EU-based replacements can rise and copy their innovating US competitors to fill the market void.

      They’re going to do it with insane laws that run counter to how the Internet works (“right to be forgotten” et al.), outrageous self-censorship dictates like this, and aggressive monopoly suits.

  9. The German government will start enforcing a law requiring social media site to remove hate speech and fake news.

    The Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda commands it!

  10. What if there is a disagreement as to whether it “obviously” violates the law? Who gets to decide that?

    1. In that case, they have 4 days to delete it. The important thing is that uncomfortable opinions are crushed. The exact number of days isn’t too important.

      1. It’s more exciting to live under fear and uncertainty, isn’t it?

        1. “The suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.”

          /Willy Wonka

  11. The German government is going to censor media and the press?

    No chance of that going pear shaped at all!

  12. Stick a fork in Europe, it’s done.

  13. This is actually the perfect reason for the Americans having the biggest say about internet related policy.
    Internet Society
    In the USA we have the 1st Amendment which most of the World does not, so users freedom of speech to post what they want is better protected.

    Just remove all physical presence from Germany and keep your social media website going. A good ‘ol “fuck you Germany” would work too.

    1. Yank all US company’s data infrastructure out of Europe.
      Simply respond to any data request from a German IP address or mobile device with a static page:
      “Your politicians have determined you are incapable of thinking for yourselves. Since any data may be ‘hate speech’, all data is denied to you. We may return internet services in Germany after the next election, depending on the results.”

  14. Companies will have 24 hours after being alerted to remove material that obviously violates the law and a week to remove material if there is some question it violates the law.

    Facebook et al then announced their intent to close down their German operation, and to move all German content to American servers and domains. Right?

    1. One would hope. Unfortunately, it’s probably less feasible than that, because the EU will soon follow. Where one French or German legislator makes unrealistic demands of the Internet, a bureaucrat in Brussels is sure to take notes.

      Couple that with the way modern content delivery networks work, and you’ll see a huge degradation of service if Amazon, Facebook, Google, etc. have to pull their physical presence from the EU. The increased trans-oceanic traffic to account for a loss of CDN servers on the continent would have impacts that rippled beyond just service to those sites pulling out and their users in the EU, too.

      1. Not all of Europe is in the EU.
        Switzerland is nicely located.

  15. I wonder how laws like this impose international barriers against innovation. How can one possible create a new social media startup when one has to erect filters for every fricking country? You may have your servers in California, but unless you a 50 million euro fine levied against you in absentia by the Germans, you gotta have a mechanism in place for catering to their whims. It’s hard enough navigating the regulatory mazes that Sacramento and D.C. have erected, let along trying to keep abreast of all the rules all the other jurisdictions impose.

    It’s one thing for a country to impose restrictions on itself. If Germany doesn’t want unfiltered social media comments, then it’s Germany’s onus to erect its own filters. Threatening to impose hugely onerous fines on the companies outside of Germany is crossing a line.

    1. I should also mention that the nature of social media is that it’s a pull technology, not a push technology. Germans have to go to the site to access its content, the content is NOT shipped into Germany.

    2. Only a damn fool would locate any business asset n California. You deserve to go broke.

  16. Next in the hacker’s arsenal for shutting down social media websites will be the “Distributed Hatespeech Attack”. Seriously.

    1. I’d read this dystopian novel.

  17. Prediction: criticism of this law will eventually constitute a de facto violation of it.

  18. Germany (all of it) needs to go back behind an iron wall so it doesn’t inflict its anti-free speech B.S. on the rest of us.

  19. test test!

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