Social media giant, Facebook will be rolling out its fake news filter in Germany. This comes after German lawmakers announced plans to pass a law that would fine the company 500,000 euros ($522,000) for every fake news that is not taken down 24 hours after it is posted on the social media site.
“If after the relevant checks Facebook does not immediately, within 24 hours, delete the offending post then (it) must reckon with severe penalties of up to 500,000 euros,” said Thomas Opperman, Germany's parliamentary chief.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has previously has voiced concern over the influence of fake news to shape public opinion, after what happened in the US elections. Particularly, since she will be running for her fourth term as the leader of Europe's largest economy.
Facebook has not referred to this move by the German government as one of its reasons for testing out the fake news filter there.
In December, Facebook announced it will introduce measures to combat fake news being shared in the social media site, amidst criticism that it does nothing against false reporting.
Now it looks like Germany will be one of the first places in the world where those measures will be implemented. Within the following weeks Germans will now be able to report any fake news story that it sees in the site. Afterwards Facebook will send that story to Correctiv, a German non-profit organization which deals with fact checking.
If the organization deems that it is fake, it will then be flagged and will no longer appears as a priority in the Facebook feed.
A spokesperson for Facebook has told Gizmodo that if a story has been flagged as false , users of the site will be granted “a link to (a) corresponding article explaining why” the link is untrue. “Once a story is flagged, it can’t be made into an ad or promoted.”
But, in a post written in German, the company said that people will still be able to share this stories but it will come with a warning, this is to ensure that people will still be able to decide for themselves what to believe.
Do you agree with this move by Facebook? Is it enough, or too much?