The newly appointed German Federal Minister for Justice Marco Buschmann has called for the prosecution of people who spread “misinformation” and “hate” on social platforms. Supporters of censorship singled out Telegram as the most popular avenue for spreading “misinformation” and “hate speech.”
Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the heads of several states are in favor of stricter speech control. At a conference Thursday, they said that “open social networks with mass communication” should be legally regulated.
The Federal Office of Justice noted that Telegram is not merely a messaging service, but a social network. Therefore, like Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks, Telegram should follow the requirements of the Network Enforcement Act (Germany’s social networks and platforms regulation).
The rules would force Telegram to establish a system for users to report “harmful” content and a system through which the German courts can send demands.
“The specifications of the Network Enforcement Act are binding – and the law does not recognize any blanket exception for messenger services,” Buschmann said, speaking to German news outlet RND.
The leader of SDP, Germany’s leading party, Saskia Esken said there should be a crack down of murder threats and calls for violence on Telegram.
“Calling for murder is a criminal offense and must be prosecuted by the authorities. These groups at Telegram are not secret and not closed,” she told the RND.
Esken added: “The police and the public prosecutor must pursue this task more consistently, also in order to prevent subversive actions such as the attempt to storm the Reichstag building in August 2020, which has been openly announced online.”
Politicians in Germany appear to be conflating more serious issues such as death threats with opinions about the Covid pandemic.