Apologies in advance for calling it “fake news” in the headline. Let’s be more specific about what this proposed German legislation is targeting: propaganda and disinformation.
Headline character limits notwithstanding, German politicians are taking no chances with disinformation campaigns from foreign sources affecting their future elections as they probably affected ours. Even though Mark Zuckerberg has said he doesn’t think fake stories swayed the US presidential election, Facebook is already implementing a plan to reduce hoaxes. They may need to go even further to catch hoaxes (and maybe call these students) if Germany moves forward with the plan they’re mulling over.
Social Democratic Party chairman Thomas Oppermann has suggested a policy to fine Facebook’s local office €500,000 [~US $523,000] for every fake news or hate speech post that isn’t deleted within 24 hours of being reported. It isn’t only the Social Democratic Party concerned about propaganda affecting 2017’s parliamentary elections. The Christian Democratic Union — the party of chancellor Angela Merkel — has also called for similar laws.
It seems fitting that the country which elected Hitler, to their regret, would seem to be in agreement that extremists and con artists shouldn’t hold sway ever again.