The German Federal Office of Justice (BfJ) has initiated legal action against Twitter, alleging that the company neglected to adequately deal with illicit content.
The NetzDG requires social media companies with more than two million registered users in Germany to respond to user reports of prohibited content and remove it.
This must be accomplished within 24 hours if the content is “clearly unlawful,” and within one week if the content is less obviously illegal.
Hate speech, personal threats, defamation, and antisemitism are examples of illegal content.
“The Twitter provider is subject to the terms of the NetzDG. The BfJ has sufficient evidence that the provider has violated its legal obligation to handle complaints about illicit content and that this constitutes a systemic failure in the provider’s complaint management, which is subject to a fine “The BfJ asserts in a statement.
“Numerous Twitter posts that the BfJ deems unlawful were reported to the agency, but despite user complaints, the provider did not remove or restrict them within the legally required timeframes. The instituted sanction proceedings are based on this fact.”
The content at issue, according to the BfJ, was uploaded over a four-month period and pertained to a single individual with “similar, unjustified, defamatory opinions.” The individual’s identity has not been made public.