German opposition parties call to replace online hate speech law

Senior figures in the rival Free Democratic (FDP), Green and Left parties on Sunday demanded lawmakers replace Germany’s recently passed online hate speech law. The call comes after Twitter decided to delete allegedly offensive statements by far-right politicians and suspend the account of a German satirical magazine.

“The last few days have emphatically shown that private companies cannot correctly determine whether a questionable online statement is illegal, satirical or tasteless yet still democratically legitimate,” the FDP’s general secretary Nicola Beer (pictured above) told Germany weekly Die Welt am Sonntag.

Beer said Germany needed a law similar to the one the FDP proposed before Christmas that would give an “appropriately endowed authority” the right to enforce the rule of law online rather than give private companies the right to determine the illegality of flagged content.

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