Last week, Facebook announced its next move in curbing the amount of fake news posts on the platform.
The measures they plan on implementing will involve Facebook users at the frontline of the war, alerting other users to any possibly fake news posts.
Facebook had also announced a partnership with fact-checking sites like Snopes to help weed out fake news posts. The company, however, said that they would not take any of the posts off their platform but would rather only inform the reader of the possible falsehood.
Germany appears to find the proposed self-regulatory measures that Facebook is proposing, far from ideal. The chairman of Germany’s Social Democratic Party, Thomas Oppermann, is instead suggesting that the country adopt a new law requiring companies like Facebook to set up an office in the country that would deal with fake news and hate speech at all hours of the day
German legislators in that line are therefore, considering whether to institute a policy that will require Facebook’s local office to delete the news item or hate speech within 24 hours, or else expect a fine of €500,000 euros ($522,575) per item.
That is quite a sizeable fine to pay per fake news post and one could wonder why Germany feels so particular about the menace of fake news posts. It turns out that there are fears on how much fake news posts could affect the German parliamentary elections taking place in 2017, according to the Financial Times.
The country, apparently, does not believe Facebook’s continued denial of responsibility for the shocking US elections. Deutsche Welle a German news site says that the ruling coalition in Germany, which includes the Christian Democratic Union (chancellor Angela Merkel’s party) has said that it wants to have laws in the books mitigating the spread of fake news and hate speech before the 2017 election.