In Germany anyone who maligns politicians on social media can be charged with libel or incitement to hatred. More and more German members of parliament are taking legal action against hate posts on social networks.
Germany is taking on an important, pioneering role to combat the worst of abuse on social media. Facebook may hate it, and some legitimate concerns apply, but doing nothing is not an option, says DW's Jefferson Chase.
German lawmakers have approved a controversial law that would impose high fines on social media companies like Facebook, Twitter or YouTube for failing to swiftly delete posts deemed to exhibit hate speech.
German regulators cracking down on hate speech on social media should also look at lesser known players beyond Facebook and Twitter, say experts. They also think it could be a model for others - with one exception.
As support for extremist ideologies and populism becomes more visible worldwide, media and social networks face increasing criticism. But experts say this is just an easy excuse that covers up more complex social issues.
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