Thursday, June 1, 2017

Facebook and Germany

Facebook is looking straight at the new German law.  It says....if they notify Facebook to remove an item because of 'hate-writing', then within one single must be removed.  Otherwise, it's five-million on a fine to the head of Facebook in Germany, and 50-million Euro of a fine on Facebook as a company.

It's been drafted and passed through the Bundestag.  It's at a stage to be implemented....meaning one single step is left.

My guess is that within a hundred days....some scenario will unfold where a massive number of deletions occur, and some legal challenge comes up over the government ordering Facebook to halt the practice.  Facebook will screw up on one deletion and face the fine business, and then some customer will challenge Facebook over why they deleted their comment....taking them to court.

I think four things will occur out of this:

1.  I suspect at least 20,000 Germans will unhook from Facebook-Germany, and go to some land (maybe Facebook-Albania, or Facebook-UK, or Facebook-Poland).

2.  I suspect a new social media invention to occur....way beyond the authority or control of the German government.

3.  I suspect that the first 50-million Euro fine to create a firestorm with social media platforms, and a suggestion that either a monthly fee for membership with Germans has to occur or just to deny Germans the use of social media because it's too 'wicked' or dangerous.

4.  Public sentiment on this will shift and the government will be accused of hate-hate-talk (some new term likely to be invented).

Here's the blunt side of this.  I think there are societies and cultures which just can't handle social media.  It's like that Star Trek episode where some society has acquired some technology that is light-years ahead of their mental capability, and I think Germany is in that position today.  The German intellectuals are persuaded that you can micro-manage a society and prevent hateful things from being discussed in public.  Fine, but in the end, you will mostly just chase the cows from one end of the the other end.

Last year, the Germans got all upset and hyped-up over Dark-Net.  They discovered you can sell guns and narcotics via Dark-Net.  Shocking?  For months and months, the cops kinda hinted to the Bundestag that this was a problem.  It's not till the news folks and journalists got hyped up.....that some major efforts were put up to go against Dark-Net.  Effect so far?  Dark-Net still exists....guns and narcotics are still sold....and life goes on.

Facebook has never had a problem like this.  It's like constant hour-by-hour threat where you could lose 50-million Euro for not deleting fast enough, or face some court action by a customer....sued for 50-million Euro for deleting something that was not defined as 'hate'.  Either way, they will lose in the end.

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