Twitter filed a suit in Germany, against the online reporting rule. The rule would force social media companies to delete or block criminal content immediately. Also, they should report serious criminal offences to the police.
What might be wrong with online reporting
Although this seems good measure for users, the social media giants disagree. The law would protect the right to stay safe even online, for any social media user. But Twitter claims this would allow law enforcement access user data before it is clear that users committed any crime.
In fact, the other important online platforms, Facebook and Google filed such lawsuits last summer.
According to a Twitter spokesperson, this law might “provide for a significant encroachment on citizens’ fundamental rights.” He explained that the obligation to share user data with the authorities “forces private companies into the role of prosecutors.”
Where did the law come from?
In fact, the new law should help German authorities more effectively target extremism and hate speech online. The anti-hate speech law came into force in 2018. And it was an important step as it made the biggest social media networks responsible for removing toxic content.
Moreover, according to the law, social networks should publish reports on their compliance, regularly. But there were many critics, saying that this would be ineffective. Also, the parliament passed a legislation to make it even tougher and broaden.
But, of course, online reporting might give some serious headaches to the social media channels. In fact they would be held resposible for the content their users publish.
On the other hand, about more than two years ago, 27 countries signed a pledge to clean up the cyberspace. According to the United Nations countries, this is absolutely necessary, as the cyberspace became a digital equivalent of the old Wild West.