There is no reason to celebrate Social Media Day in Germany today. The German parliament passed a law Friday instituting a fine of up to $57 million for social media companies who fail to take down what they perceive as illegal or slanderous content.
Germany has very strict hate speech laws and demands that huge companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter address and remove content meeting their definitions within 24 hours.
Mike Opelka felt this was a chilling precedent on today’s “Pure Opelka.” On the plus side, the law could create jobs, as Facebook announced it would have to double its workforce to help meet the requirements.
The negative side is more ominous, as such a law could inspire the United States Congress to dream up new ways to make revenue while infringing on First Amendment rights, with an inevitable effect on the rest. Mike said, “If we lose free speech, we lose all of them.”