150,000 Germans a year are to be investigated for online crime


Published 11 January 2022 at 16.08

Abroad. The police in Germany estimate that 150,000 people a year will be the subject of criminal proceedings for “incitement against ethnic groups” via the Internet through a tightening of the country's censorship law. Hundreds of special opinion police are employed for the purpose at the new censorship agency ZMI.

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The German censorship law NetzDG from 2018 means that social media companies such as Facebook must delete “racism” and “fake news” within 24 hours. Otherwise, they risk up to the equivalent of half a billion kronor in fines.

When the law is tightened almost a month, the number of opinion criminals in Germany is expected to skyrocket. Germany's federal police authority Bundeskriminalamt estimates that 250,000 reports will be received, and that 150,000 Germans per year will be investigated by the police for so-called incitement against ethnic groups on the internet.

With the new tightening of laws, social media platforms will not not only forced to delete immigration-critical and other content, but also report the content directly to the Bundeskriminalamt, reports Junge Freiheit. opinion police who handle the reports.

At first, however, Google and Facebook will probably not report any suspected illegal material, according to a spokesman for the Bundeskriminalamt. The two companies oppose the revised law, which they consider to be disproportionate.

Social networking platforms with at least two million registered users are covered by the law.

The head of the Federal Criminal Investigation Department, Holger Münch, defended the stricter censorship law last year.

– Hate crime has reached a level that jeopardizes democracy, he said according to Junge Freiheit.