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  • Mubarak Mosque in Wiesbaden, Germany, Feb. 18, 2020.

    Mubarak Mosque in Wiesbaden, Germany, Feb. 18, 2020. | Photo: Twitter / @_jia_rao

Published 19 February 2020

Internet companies will have to report to the German police contents such as anti-Semitic attitudes, far-right proselytism, and threats of rape or murder.

Germany’s government Wednesday approved a bill that will require Internet companies such as Facebook and YouTube to denounce hate speech to the country's authorities.

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Although social networks are already obliged to eliminate these kinds of contents, the bill broadens the definition of hate speech and asks that the information be shared with the German police.

If the Parliament approves this proposal, penalties will be established for contents having far-right-wing propaganda, representations of violence, threats of murder or rape, hints of the preparation of a terrorist attack, child sexual abuse, invitations to damage property, and expressions of anti-Semitism.

According to local media, social media could face fines of up to US$54 million (€ 50 million) if they refuse to provide information on those contents.

“In the future, those who make threats or spread hate online will be prosecuted more toughly and more effectively,” Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht said.

Additionally, "authorities will make it easier for politicians, volunteers, and journalists to prevent online users from accessing their home addresses from public registers," Euronews reported.

According to Ansa, Chancellor Angela Merkel's ministers approved this bill after 12 men were arrested for planning violent attacks against Muslims in mosques located in the German territory.

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