Today in Germany, Facebook, Google and Twitter reached an accord in an attempt to control hate speech on each of the respective platforms. All have agreed to delete content that constitutes hate speech within 24 hours.
The new agreement makes it easier for users or anti-racism groups to report hate speech violations to specialists at the three companies.
The deal should ease some of Facebook’s tension in Germany, where it has seen a total of four executives investigated in the past few months. Its European head, Martin Ott, was the latest.
After World War II, Germany has long had some of the strictest anti-hate speech laws in the EU.
German Justice Minister Heiko Maas, said:
When the limits of free speech are trespassed, when it is about criminal expressions, sedition, incitement to carry out criminal offenses that threaten people, such content has to be deleted from the net. And we agree that as a rule this should be possible within 24 hours.
The agreement follows an attack by vandals this weekend at Facebook’s Hamburg office. Vandals damaged the entrance to the building and sprayed “Facebook dislike” on a wall.