Germany, a country known for its authoritarian governments and strict “hate speech” laws, is moving to prevent free speech from returning to Twitter in the wake of Elon Musk’s takeover of the social media platform. Politicians in the European country, now under the rule of the left-wing Social Democratic Party (SDP), is concerned that content moderation rules will be relaxed on the platform, something that political elites now consider unacceptable.
The SPD’s digital spokesman, Jens Zimmerman, has called for swift action from the state regulator if Twitter’s content moderation falls short. Via Handlesblatt (translated): “The Federal Office of Justice must therefore take Twitter under stricter supervision and act quickly and decisively in the event of violations.” The Germans are threatening not just the company but Musk himself if he does not censor viewpoints: If Twitter does not meet the requirements, there are penalties not only against the company, but also against the managers responsible.” Germany, which has one of the strictest censorship regimes in the western world, was one of the first European governments to pressure tech companies to censor their users. In 2015, then-chancellor Angela Merkel was caught on a mic telling Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to control “hate speech” on the platform. Since then, Germany has passed a flurry of laws and regulations designed to suppress dissident viewpoints on social media, including a law that allows the government to fine social media platforms anywhere between 5 million and 50 million euros for failing to take down content that is illegal under German law, a category that includes hate speech. European crackdowns against tech companies have been encouraged by politicians in the U.S., with Hillary Clinton calling on the European Union to pass the Digital Services Act, praising the law for tackling “disinformation” on social media platforms. Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election. .
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