Internet giants could be fined up to $12 mln under Austrian hate speech law

VIENNA, Sept 3- Austria plans to oblige large internet platforms like Facebook and Google to delete illegal content within days and impose fines of up to 10 million euros in case of non-compliance, the government said on Thursday. Austria’s online hate speech law, now being drawn up, will target platforms with more than 100,000 users and annual revenues of more…

VIENNA, Sept 3 (Reuters) – Austria plans to oblige large

internet platforms like Facebook and Google to

delete illegal content within days and impose fines of up to 10

million euros ($12 million) in case of non-compliance, the

government said on Thursday.

Austria’s online hate speech law, now being drawn up, willtarget platforms with more than 100,000 users and annualrevenues of more than 500,000 euros, Justice Minister Alma Zadicsaid. It will give victims of online insults and abuse theopportunity to fight back quickly at a low cost, she said.

“The internet is not a lawless space. Our rule of law alsoapplies to the internet,” the minister told a news conference. Anew fast-track procedure, free of charge for the first threeyears, would enable victims to obtain a cease and desist orderwithin days.

Platforms will be obliged to set up easily accessiblereporting systems, appoint a contact person for users and reporton the complaints received annually, according to the draft law.They will have to delete obviously criminal content within 24hours of receiving a complaint and otherwise unlawful contentwithin seven days.

Concerns about hateful posts are mounting globally. A Germanlaw in force since 2018 has had a limited impact so far, andBerlin has called for more action within the European Union.

The new Austrian law will also address so-called upskirting,a practice that typically involves someone taking a pictureunder another person’s clothing without their knowledge, andprovides for a penalty of up to one year.

The law will be submitted shortly to parliament for reviewand will need parliamentary approval at a later date.($1 = 0.8461 euros)(Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Susan Fenton)

ANA NEWS WIRE Disclaimer:
The African News Agency (ANA) is a news wire service and therefore subscribes to the highest standards of journalism as it relates to accuracy, fairness and impartiality.
ANA strives to provide accurate, well sourced and reliable information across Text, Images and Video. Where errors do appear, ANA will seek to correct these timeously and transparently.
The ANA platform also contains news and information from third party sources. ANA has sought to procure reliable content from trusted news sources but cannot be held responsible for the accuracy and opinions provided by such sources on the ANA platform or linked sites.
The content provided for on the ANA News Wire platform, both through the ANA news operation and via its third party sources, are for the sole use of authorised subscribers and partners. Unauthorised access to and usage of ANA content will be subject to legal steps. ANA reserves its rights in this regard.
ANA makes every effort to ensure that the website is up and running smoothly at all times, however ANA does not take responsibility for, and will not be held liable for times when the website is temporarily unavailable due to technical issues that are beyond our control.