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Social media websites in Germany could in for fines of up to 50 million euros ($54 million) for removing illegal content too slowly. The German government has to down on the darker side of online content, including hate speech, slander, fake news and other illegal material. Under the proposed new law, the likes of Facebook and Twitter would be seven days to content flagged as illegal, or a heavy financial penalty. Any content to be "clearly criminal" would to be removed within 24 hours. Germany's justice minister Heiko Maas research which suggested Twitter deletes only one per cent of the hate speech it is about by users, and Facebook, 39 per cent.

Mr Maas said the new fines and regulations necessary due to heightening concern over the influence social media is having in shaping public opinion. He said: "The biggest problem is that the social networks do not the complaints of their own users seriously enough." He that voluntary efforts to the problem were not working, saying: "Too few comments are , and they're not deleted quickly enough." Mr Maas said all social media companies would be to set up a complaints team that must be operational 24/7. A digital trade organization that removing content within 24 hours from sites that more than one billion posts per day "utterly impossible".

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