Facebook and Twitter Could Face Fines in Germany Over Hate Speech Posts

On Tuesday, Heiko Maas, Germany’s minister of justice and consumer protection, said he would propose a law that would impose stiff fines on companies whose social media platforms did not respond swiftly enough to complaints about illegal content. Mr. Maas has been a vocal critic of how companies treat online content that violates the country’s strict rules on hate speech.

“We must increase the pressure on social networks,” he said in a statement announcing the proposed legislation. (Copies of the proposal were not immediately available for review.)

“This will set binding standards for how companies running social networks must handle complaints and require them to delete criminal content,” Mr. Maas said of the proposal, under…

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