Heidi Tworek in Foreign Affairs


Heidi Tworek in Foreign Affairs

On May 16, 2017, Foreign Affairs published a commentary by Transatlantic Academy Fellow Heidi Tworek, entitled "How Germany Is Tackling Hate Speech."

"Social media platforms may have once been praised as an inherently democratizing force, but in recent years they’ve gained more notoriety for the hate and harassment propogated on their networks," Tworek writes. "In response, the German government has taken the most decisive action of any democracy yet. In April 2017, the German cabinet passed new legislation on hate speech that the German Bundestag is scheduled to adopt in the summer. The law enables Germany to fine social media companies up to 50 million euros ($55 million) for not reacting swiftly enough to reports of illegal content or hate speech. The law has an aptly German name Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz, or Network Enforcement Law. But its main target is U.S. tech giants, which provide the main social media networks in Germany. The clash between U.S. social media companies and the German government is about more than deleting hateful online comments. It is a fight about how much free speech a democracy can take." Tworek explains the historic and legal background of the German approach to free speech, contrasting it with the U.S. approach.

The full article can be read here.

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