By Dorothy Thompson.
It has long been the untouchable and faceless cowards canvas where anything goes. Unsocial media’s keyboard zealot’s post hate speech without any obvious consequences or filters. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube-parent Google have shown no real interest in policing this most dangerous behaviour.
Just recently we saw the tragic death of the 14-year-old from a well-known Northern Territory cattle family took her own life as a result of being targeted by bullies online.
An image of Dolly as a child, smiling in an Akubra hat when she was the face of the iconic Australian brand, has been shared around the world in a social media campaign sparked by her parents to raise awareness of the dangers of online hate speech and bulling.
Her death has sparked outrage and sadness, particularly in rural and regional communities around Australia. Even Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull issued a statement on Facebook saying his heart was breaking for Dolly and her family.
“Dolly’s passing highlights the devastating impact that bullying can have on its victims,” he said.
“Every step must be taken to reduce the incidence of bullying, whether offline or on, and eliminate it wherever we can.”
Mr Turnbull said the rise of online social media platforms presented new challenges.
“Cyber bullies can harass and intimidate their victims from any location and at any time of the day,” he said.
“Much more work is needed, from governments, health groups and the internet companies themselves, to prevent cyberbullying, stop it when it occurs and to minimise its impact when it does occur.”
Mr Turnbull said young people who were experiencing bullying online could lodge a complaint on the Federal Government’s https://www.acorn.gov.au/learn-about-cybercrime/cyber-bullying website.
Governments have been slow, if not recalcitrant to act to force the owners of these Internet giants to behave socially responsible. Perhaps they either don’t know how to, or they don’t see the problem as the epidemic plague that it has become.
Well fortunately one government has seen fit do to something positive about this mounting social pandemic.
The German Government starts enforcing a law that fines social media companies for not deleting hate speech on their platforms.
Internet companies like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube-parent Google need to take heed. The new law carries fines of up to $60 million per infringement if companies fail to remove posts that are “obviously illegal.”
Germany has started enforcing the controversial hate speech law that carries hefty fines for social media companies that fail to quickly remove objectionable content.
The law which was passed in June 2017, went into effect last Monday the 8th of January 2018, officially granting internet companies like Facebook Twitter and YouTube-parent Google just a 24-hour window to remove offending posts once a user flags them for review.
The law carries fines of up to $60 million per post if companies fail to remove posts that are “obviously illegal” within 24 hours. It grants a week to consider more ambiguous cases.
The “Network Enforcement Act”, colloquially referred to as the “Facebook law,” also includes defamatory posts and incitements of violence and social bulling.
All three companies have previously said they’ll cooperate with the new restrictions.
Twitter declined to comment on how the company would operate under the new law. Google did not immediately return request for comment.
“We’re committed to removing hate speech any time we become aware of it,” Facebook said in a June statement in on the company’s blog. Well we’ll see about that.
Given the history of the Nazi era, Germany is especially sensitive to hate crimes. I say well good on them (the German Government) The only way you can influence these corporate monolithics is to hit them where it hurts, in their hip pocket.
It only remains to be seen weather the rest of the worlds governments will follow suit.