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Germany to extend its online censorship laws

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Germany plans to further its crack down on “hate speech” and harmful content by blocking users and forcing online platforms to reveal the identity of users who spread hate.

Currently the Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG) holds social media companies responsible for removing content containing alleged hate speech.

But it is up to the companies to decide whether or not to block the users, The Local reports.

This week, the Ministry of Justice drafted key points on a “law against digital violence.” The plan addresses “notorious infringers of rights on the digital space,” and is intended to assist in cases where the identity of the perpetrator is not clear.

A court would decide the “proportionate” length of time to block an account. Additionally, blocking would only be applied if all other options, including deleting posts, does not discourage a user from spreading hate.

The account holder would be informed that their account is at risk of being blocked and given the chance to comment on the issue.

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