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Social Media Laws Should Be Tightened: Germany

Facebook in July said it had deleted hundreds of offensive posts since implementation of the law

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An illustration picture shows a man starting his Twitter app on a mobile device in Hanau near Frankfurt. VOA
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German states have drafted a list of demands aimed at tightening a law that requires social media companies like Facebook and Twitter to remove hate speech from their sites, the Handelblatt newspaper reported Monday.

Justice ministers from the states will submit their proposed revisions to the German law called NetzDG at a meeting with Justice Minister Katarina Barley on Thursday, the newspaper said, saying it had obtained a draft of the document.

The law, which came into full force on Jan. 1, is a highly ambitious effort to control what appears on social media and it has drawn a range of criticism.

Twitter, tweets, social media
Twitter allows publishers to monetise video views globally. (VOA)

While the German states are focused on concerns about how complaints are processed, other officials have called for changes following criticism that too much content was being blocked.

The states’ justice ministers are calling for changes that would make it easier for people who want to complain about banned content such as pro-Nazi ideology to find the required forms on social media platforms.

They also want to fine social media companies up to 500,000 euros ($560,950) for providing “meaningless replies” to queries from law enforcement authorities, the newspaper said.

Till Steffen, the top justice official in Hamburg and a member of the Greens party, told the newspaper that the law had in some cases proven to be “a paper tiger.”

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If we want to effectively limit hate and incitement on the internet, we have to give the law more bite. Pixabay

“If we want to effectively limit hate and incitement on the internet, we have to give the law more bite and close the loopholes,” he told the paper. “For instance, it cannot be the case that some platforms hide their complaint forms so that no one can find them.”

Also Read: Facebook Allows French Regulators to Oversee Hate Speech Control

Facebook in July said it had deleted hundreds of offensive posts since implementation of the law, which foresees fines of up to 50 million euros ($56.10 million) for failure to comply. (VOA)

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Reaches Out to Microsoft President For Help

A recent CNBC report claimed that Facebook employees were contacting former colleagues to look for jobs outside the company

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Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg. VOA

Embroiled in massive data scandals amid losing stock and market cap, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly spoken to Microsoft President Brad Smith exploring the possibility of him joining the social networking platform and bring it back to glory.

According to a report in The Information on Monday, Zuckerberg spoke directly to Smith on how to build trust at Facebook.

“While the conversation didn’t involve a formal job offer, Mr. Smith still felt compelled to let Mr. Zuckerberg know he was happy at Microsoft and had no desire to leave,” the report said, quoting a person familiar with the talks.

According to the report, Mark Zuckerberg usually seeks advice from billionaire Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates.

Another report from Wall Street Journal claimed last month that Gates suggested to Zuckerberg that Facebook consider hiring someone with a profile like that of Smith who can tackle regulators and lawmakers around the world — gunning for Facebook over frequent users’ data breaches and a recent expose of internal emails.

Facebook and Microsoft were yet to comment on the reports.

A New York Times investigation last month suggested that the social network under Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg hired a Republican-owned political consulting and PR firm that “dug up dirt on its competitors” including Soros.

Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO reaches out to Microsoft President for help: Report. Flickr

Reacting to the report, Mark Zuckerberg and Sandberg denied they had any prior knowledge about this firm.

Later, Facebook’s outgoing Head of Communications and Policy Elliot Schrage took the full responsibility for hiring the political consulting and PR firm Definers Public Affairs.

Facebook has also lost the tag of best place to work in the US.

According to the leading job website Glassdoor’s annual “100 Best Places to Work in the US” list, Facebook is now ranked No 7 — scoring 4.5 out of a perfect 5.

Also Read- Actress Katrina Kaif Feels Herself Fortunate For Everything She Has Gone Through

The Glassdoor list came at a time when media reports said several Facebook employees are looking for better opportunities as scrutiny of the company’s conduct rises following several cases of data leak and as its stock price takes a beating.

A recent CNBC report claimed that Facebook employees were contacting former colleagues to look for jobs outside the company. (IANS)