Facebook has been penalized EUR 2 Million ($2.26 million) by the German authorities for presenting an unclear image of the amount of unlawful material on the social media platform. This, in turn, has violated the Internet transparency law of the country. A judicial agency, the Federal Office of Justice, in a statement, stated that by publishing partial details about the complaints it had obtained, the web giant produced a twisted picture.
Facebook, confronted with a global repercussion over the part played by its platform in election drives from the US to Britain to the Philippines, has been on public relations campaigns to enhance its image. The social media platforms, within Germany’s network transparency regulation, are needed to report the figure of complaints they have obtained over unlawful material. The allegation that Facebook underreported violations can weaken its campaign to polish its stained status.
The office said, “This generates an unclear image of the extent of illicit material on the platform and the manner in which Facebook copes with it. Only a part of the complaints of unlawful information has been mentioned in the report.” Facebook stated it had obtained 1,048 complaints in 2018 with regard to illegal material on its platform during that year’s second half, as per its transparency report. On the contrary, transparency reports from Google’s YouTube and Twitter both registered well more than a quarter of a million grievances for the entire year.
Germany, blemished by the memory of the 2 authoritarian police states on its terrain over the past century, has some of the toughest hate speech and privacy laws in the world, recently merged with some of the toughest social media laws. Likewise, recently the privacy watchdog of Italy also declared its decision to penalize Facebook €1 Million (around $1.13 Million) for the disastrous misuse of data related to now-defunct Cambridge Analytica.