Social media websites in Germany could be in for fines of up to 50 million euros ($54 million) for removing illegal content too slowly. German government has decided to crack down on darker side of online content, including hate speech, slander, fake news and other illegal material. Under proposed new law, likes of Facebook and Twitter would be given seven days to delete content flagged as illegal, or incur heavy financial penalty. Any content deemed to be "clearly criminal" would have to be removed within 24 hours. Germany's justice minister Heiko Maas quoted research which suggested Twitter deletes only one per cent of hate speech it is told about by users, and Facebook, 39 per cent.
Mr Maas said new fines and regulations were necessary due to heightening concern over influence social media is having in shaping public opinion. He said: " biggest problem is that social networks do not take complaints of their own users seriously enough." He added that voluntary efforts to tackle problem were not working, saying: "Too few comments are deleted, and they're not being deleted quickly enough." Mr Maas said all social media companies would be required to set up complaints team that must be operational 24/7. digital trade organization feared that removing content within 24 hours from sites that handle more than one billion posts per day was "utterly impossible".