Comments today by the German Justice Minister (Maas, SPD) indicate that after the holidays....probably going into mid-January to mid-February...he will introduce some draft law and hope to get CDU support lined up behind it....on fake news.
The rumored draft?
Out of Spiegel today is some talk from inside the SPD Party that this will invoke some situation where a "market-dominating" platform (Facebook Twitter, Ebay, etc) would have to have a legal center on German soil. This center....operating 24 hours a day....365 days a year....would immediately be tasked to react to "victims" (yet to be detailed how you could be qualified as such) of fake news.
The suggestion of this Spiegel story is that if you didn't delete the offending fake news within 24 hours, then you'd have to pay 500,000 Euro.
So you stand there looking at this. A Facebook center, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year....to react? How many personnel are you talking about? My humble guess would be some chief...ten to twenty sub-chiefs and support personnel. Then figure.at least twenty to forty phone response people with administrator privileges, with five or six on each shift....around the clock.
Could any individual just call and say he's angry about such-and-such posting? Yeah. Reaction by Facebook phone folks? I would imagine, they'd be quick to delete anything to avoid this 500,000 fine for each single issue. All you need is five or six of these a year, and your profit margin suffers a bit.
So you could create a wave on some evening around Christmas where you get seven-hundred people calling in every three hours and triggering massive deletions? In theory....yeah.
The second part of this that makes it interesting is that you'd have various platforms affected. Ebay could be dragged into this....even though they make next to nothing on profit.
The comments section of Amazon? Well....yeah....you could write something to offend some author of a book.
Other EU members asking for this "service"? Well....no.
I could imagine all 28 members getting hyped up and each asking for this 24-hour a day, 365-day a year operation in each country....just to hype up jobs. Presently, you don't see that many other European societies hyped up.
All of this policing and cleansing leads to? So you sit back and look over this scheme suggested. If this is the gimmick of persuasion by the SPD to draft as a law.....you would create this 100-day wave of deletions....one after another. It'd take four months to probably bring this center into operation. So by mid-summer....the cleansing crew would be doing their work for Germany and humanity.
By late-summer, deep into this election period....with folks at Facebook patting themselves on the back, and the Justice Minister all happy.....someone would ask, so that's the end of the problem?
Well....no. You see by late-summer, with the platform turned into a comical routine....a fair number of German users would just walk away. Facebook would ask about user rates and advertising numbers, and start to get a bit freaked out. Losing twenty to thirty percent of their audience in Germany in a hundred-day period? Yeah.
Where did they go? With a non-market-dominating platform....way off the German soil, and probably off of the EU range.
New strategy? Dragging the new non-market-dominating platform to German soil? Oh, I doubt if anyone would be that stupid. Meanwhile....Facebook and the others would be concerned how this trend lost them users, advertising money, and profit. Wanting to cut cost on this customer center....you'd eventually fill the room with one single cheap person (the mini-job 8.50 an hour person), and re-route all the phones to some Bombay office where Haj would answer with a crisp Bavarian accent and pretend he was in Munich.
Maybe there will be an end to this whole fake agenda talk and some real solution. But in the end, you'd just reinvent the whole problem requiring a new solution, and repeating this over and over.