Germany will soon punish social media giants like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube with fines of up to €50 million (approximately $57 million) if they fail to take down illegal or offensive content within 24 hours.
The rule will be enforced starting from October and will apply to all social media platforms with more than two million users.
While websites will be required to remove hate speech and criminal material within a window of 24 hours, less obviously unlawful content will necessitate further assessment within seven days.
The minimal penalty for breaking the the so-called Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz (NetzDG) law starts from €5 million and goes all the way up to €50 for extreme violations, according to BBC.
Facebook has since come out in support of the German government’s dedication to curb the spread of abusive and illegal content, but expressed reservation about the efficacy of the current legislation:
We believe the best solutions will be found when government, civil society and industry work together and that this law as it stands now will not improve efforts to tackle this important societal problem.