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German opposition calls to reverse online hate speech law

New online hate speech regulations which took effect Monday, stipulates that German authorities can impose huge fines of up to €50 million ($60.1 million) on social media platforms which fail to promptly delete offensive content. The parliamentary leader of the Left Party, Sahra Wagenknecht, called the legislation a “slap in the face for all democratic principles,” claiming the courts, rather than private companies, should determine what constitutes unlawful content. Nicola Beer, the General Secretary of the liberal Free Democrats (FDP), expressed similar sentiments. “The past few days have clearly shown private providers aren't always able to make the right decision,” she told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. Other politicians, such as the leader of the Greens, Simone Peter, argued the law hampered free speech in Germany, leaving it at hands of US corporations to decide what was “hate speech” and what was not.

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