Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies will be fined as much as €50 million ($53 million) in Germany if they fail to remove hate speech and fake news posts quickly.
“The providers of social networks are responsible when their platforms are misused to propagate hate crimes and fake news,” justice minister Heiko Maas said.
The companies will have 24 hours to remove hate speech and fake news posts that breach German law after they are flagged by users.
Other illegal content needs to be deleted within 7 days of reporting.
Social networks are already required to remove illegal content from their websites as soon as they are aware of it, according to German law. The new fines, Maas said, are there to make sure they comply with the law.