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)
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