There is no doubt that social media has indeed taken over the world, in fact, there are millions of people in the world that are using more than one social media platform. Social media was invented for people to connect with their family and friends wherever they may be.
But it social media can also end up being something unhealthy for people to use, especially when it starts to get into them and they obsess over it.
Last year, Germany have started to enforce a law that would demand social media sites to filter hate speeches, illegal materials and fake news. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, have all been involved in issues that are not exactly helping their reputation.
Just like when Facebook became involve with the Russia Probe investigation by allegedly delivering fake news during the 2016 presidential campaign. This has definitely affected some of the biggest social media platforms in Germany since according to this law, they would need to fine about $62 million.
Social media platforms will have a $62 million fine in Germany
Last June, the government of Germany have put up a law wherein social media platforms must eliminate any fake news, illegal materials, and hate speeches within 24 hours of posting so failed to do so will cost them to fine $62 million.
This will affect leading social media platforms that has more than 2 million members like Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram. It is not certain if other social media sites like Reddit, Tumblr, and other form of social media will be affected by the law.
This law which is known as the Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz or NetzDG was passed last year and was enforced by October, however, the social network companies were given a chance to prepare all of their softwares for this until the end of 2017.
NetzDG revision form draft
According to the German justice ministry, this is something that they must do because of how much crime, fake news, as well as some racist materials have been roaming all over social media for years now. Social media firms would need to have a comprehensive complaint structure that would help their employees track and remove such content, as much as an as quickly as they can.
Revising Social Media Law
Considered to be the most ambitious effort to control the social media firms, NetzDG was officially on full force, however, some German politicians said in an interview that they wish amend the law. The purpose of this amendment is to basically help people get back their post once it was been incorrectly identified as a violation. They also want the social media firms to actually set a third party reviewers to respond to the people who will be posting the said contents so that these companies wouldn’t have to do it all by themselves.
According to the Vice President for EMEA public policy of Facebook in Germany, getting rid of the said illegal content is too far from being easy. Because of this, Facebook has to seek help from legal experts every time they do reviews and they basically follow the legal advice so they could avoid breaking the law.
YouTube on the other hand, which is under Google, simply said that they will be more hands-on when it comes to reviewing their content to comply with NetzDG. Twitter however, refused to make a statement on what their plan is to follow the social media law in Germany.
There are more than 37.3 million social media users in Germany
One of the reasons why Germany have decided to be extremely strict on these matters is because there are actually thousands of minors that are on social media and they might be at risk. Based on the recent study by DAK, which is a German health insurance company, there are make than 100,000 teenagers in the country who are addicted to social media use.
The study also showed how the older they get, the more addicted they become. That is only a percentage of teenagers, which means that there are more young adults and middle aged people that are yet to be examined. Psychologists said that social media is something that can no longer be stopped, people wants it, they crave for it, they even sacrifice food and sleep for it, which makes it more dangerous.