Germany Moves To Impose Crippling Fines On Social Networks For “Fake News”

I recently wrote about the growing threat of government regulation of speech on the Internet under the guise of combatting “fake news.” Germany has been ground zero for civil libertarians for the rollback of free speech. Angela MerkelGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel long ago established herself as a menace to free speech, particularly in her decision to first apologize to authoritarian Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for a satirical poem and then approve the prosecution of the comedian is a shocking and chilling disgrace. Now, Germany is considering imposing a legal regime that would allow fining social networks such as Facebook up to 500,000 euros ($522,000) for each day the platform leaves a “fake news” story up without deleting it. Governments have finally found a vehicle to get citizens to allow them to curtail or chill speech — ironically in the name of facilitating “real news” or “truth.” It is perfectly Orwellian and Merkel’s latest contribution to the erosion of free speech in the West. I recently discussed the issue as part of an interesting segment with Ted Koppel.

Few companies will risk such crippling fines, resulting in self-censorship from the chilling effect of the law. The bill would require companies to flag “fake news” and impose civil liability on companies. Germany’s parliamentary chief of the Social Democrat party, Thomas Oppermann is quoted as saying “If after the relevant checks Facebook does not immediately, within 24 hours, delete the offending post then [it] must reckon with severe penalties of up to 500,000 euros.”

Other lawmakers are reportedly moving toward criminalizing anything the government deems to be “fake news.”

220px-BenFranklinDuplessisSo government officials will now be allowed to simply proclaim certain postings as untrue and either fine the networks or even criminally charge individuals — all in the name of protecting “the truth.” What is astonishing is that many in the public are supporting this rollback on the critical protection of free speech. The left appears to be leading this crusade for greater government censorship in both Europe and the United States. Fake news is simply proclaimed to be a threat to democracy and citizens support the limitation of free speech to protect “freedom”? It is precisely the moment described by Benjamin Franklin when he said “Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither.”

76 thoughts on “Germany Moves To Impose Crippling Fines On Social Networks For “Fake News”

  1. The JonBenet Ramsey story is relevant. There is some “show” coming out to tell us whose DNA might be involved in her murder. Her brother is suing the producers etc of the show. Now we have to look at the photo of the dead kid and now the photo of her dork looking brother. Fruit fruit, bo boot, banna fanna fo poop. The “news” is full of garbage. I am tired of all the news items about celebrity dead people.

  2. Fake UFO reports accompanied by bogus video can cause serious panic and the groups most notable for putting this shit up for profit know who they are.

    Massive UFO appearances recently over both Germany and Turkey were shown to be patently false and while genuine stories and videos are not unusual, the bogus junk needs to go, however that happens.

  3. First they came for the news anchor and I did not say anything or object because I was not a news anchor.
    Then they came for….. etc.
    Hiel Merkel!
    Or is it: Heil Merkel! ?

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