Tough new German law puts tech firms and free speech in spotlight

Social media firms must remove hate speech or face fines up to £44m under controversial law that came into force on 1 January

US social media companies have scaled up operations in Germany, where a controversial new law has turned the country into a testbed for whether tech firms can be relied on to tell the difference between free speech and hate speech.

Facebook and Twitter have fitted their German websites with additional features for flagging up controversial content, and spent months hiring and training moderators to cope with the Network Enforcement Act, which came into full effect on 1 January 2018.

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