While the world is going more global and #Freedom Of Speech and individuality is becoming even more important with each passing day, Germans will have to follow new strict rules while posting any online content. Starting from #October 2017, a new law which imposes huge fines on people using illegal content or #Hate speech online is coming into existence. The law called 'Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz – NetzDG' will monitor social media networking sites and require they pull down what they assess as objectionable and hateful content within 24 hours of being identified and reported. For content which is not necessarily hateful but violates the law slightly, Facebook and other such sites will have seven days to decide their action on the content.

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Default in following the new law will result in a fine up to €50m

The most interesting and shocking aspect is the amount of fine that will be applicable if the objectionable and hateful content is not pulled down in the provided time frame. A fine up to €50m can be ordered by the law and other legal proceedings will follow. To make matters worse, the German law has already inspired a similar law in Russia.

Online speech laws get tighter in Germany

While the law is said to change the rules and regulations and also the fines for default with regards to hate speeches online, it will not change the basic definition of hate speech in Germany. Germany currently bans usage of certain words which are allowed in other countries, e.g. Nazi symbols are banned and not allowed to be used, flags and other symbols of some extremists’ groups are also not allowed to be used.

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As expected, a wide variety of people have opposed the new law and Facebook has also displayed its disagreement. The United Nations has also warned the German government about the possible drastic and negative consequences of the law.

We will have to wait and watch as to exactly how the law unfolds in October and what effects it actually has on online freedom of speech. Since there is already increasing levels of opposition to the new law, it is expected it will see Germans declaring their vision of freedom and their disagreement to the new law strongly. As there are a lot of false information and news being forwarded through social media, there are sections of the German society which are supporting the law and agreeing with its aim in making social media websites more responsible.