West News Wire: Twitter’s journey through stormy seas continues, as the microblogging service may be subject to tens of billions of euros in fines in Germany for failing to remove tweets that contained hate speech. 

According to a Techcrunch report, German courts are currently hearing more than 600 cases involving hate speech on Twitter. Germany earlier this week announced a probe into “suspected systemic failures under the country’s hate speech takedowns law,” adding fuel to the fire. According to Techcrunch, the NetzDG statute permits fines of up to 50 million euros per case. 

Since Musk took over Twitter in October and fired employees in Germany and eliminated the content-moderation team in November of 2016, The New York Times has observed significant rises in hate speech. 

Last week, Elon Musk told his employees that Twitter which he bought for $44 billion last year is worth about $20 billion now. Assuming all 600 cases in Germany go against Twitter, the social media giant will have to fork out 30 billion euros in fine that’s nearly $33 billion dollars, or 65 percent more than what the company is worth now. This could very well mean Twitter will go bankrupt. While all this is theoretical at the moment, the number and amount of fines could easily stack up to tens of millions of dollars, at the very least. 

As per the Techcrunch report, Germany is initially looking into “just a handful of tweets out of hundreds that have been reported and collated in a database”. The report adds that some of the abusive tweets were posted by a user who had been banned before Musk’s takeover, but has since had his account reinstated. 

Read More
Blacklisting The Merchants Of Spyware – OpEd

The German government, Techcrunch adds, was spurred into action after a legal challenge succeeded in establishing the tweets were illegal, and said it has found “sufficient indications of failures” in Twitter’s complaint management processes. This could result in the first penalty for a social media company for failure to remove illegal content under NetzDG. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here