Facebook, Google and Twitter have, in the last few days, agreed to remove hate speech within 24 hours on their German sites.
The German government were able to reach an agreement for hate speech that could be classed as criminal to be taken down within 24 hours of it being reported. “When the limits of free speech are trespassed, when it is about criminal expressions, sedition, incitement to carry out criminal offences that threaten people, such content has to be deleted from the net,” German Justice Minister Heiko Mass said.
This has been a good while coming since the German Chancellor Angela Merkal was overheard confronting Mark Zuckerberg on how the company wasn’t working hard enough to crack down on hate posts on the website.
The movement also comes from an investigation held in November against the Managing Director for Facebook Northern, Central and Eastern Europe, Martin Ott, holding him responsible for the lack of effort in removing racist hate speech on Facebook.
This looks like a big step in the right direction to act against cyber bullies. Though it could take a long time to see this take effect in more countries given the legal ramifications that this could have.
What do you think? Is this promising or just a promise?