Facts and Findings
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- Starting point: The fight against hate speech on the internet and the obligations to be met by social network providers are central objectives of the Network Enforcement Act (Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz, NetzDG) that was enacted in 2017.
- Reactions: The objectives of the NetzDG are generally welcomed. However, the detailed anatomy of the legislation has been criticised in many quarters. One major reproach is that the NetzDG violates the fundamental right of expression by what is called ‘chilling effects and over-blocking’.
- NetzDG reports: The first mandatory reports from social network providers prove the practical importance of the NetzDG. However, deletion rates hardly support the fear of general over-blocking, if at all.
- Prospects: The regulatory approach should be readjusted and advanced with a sense of proportion – a close coordination with the EU regulatory proposals is required. Specifically, the guidelines for complaint management have to be supplemented. The sanctions regime should address the issue of deleted legitimate content. Users are to be protected more effectively, in particular through a right to have unjustly deleted content ‘reinstated’.
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About this series
The series informs in a concentrated form about important positions of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung on current topics. The individual issues present key findings and recommendations, offer brief analyses, explain the Foundation's further plans and name KAS contact persons.