Facebook has been having a tough time in Germany, where it’s been accused of failing to stem a tide of hate-filled tirades against refugees. It has also become the focus of politicians’ fears of fake news that could impact the general election in September.
Now Martin Ott, Facebook’s top manager in Germany, has hit back in an interview with Handelsblatt, criticizing a planned German law to fine social networks sites up to €50 million ($56 million) if they fail to remove illegal content quickly.
“We don’t think the law is constructive because it shouldn’t be up to private sector companies to decide what is legal or illegal. That’s the task of courts,” Mr. Ott said.
In his first interview as a manager responsible for Germany, Mr. Ott conceded that the Silicon Valley-based firm had initially been a bit slow to remove hate-filled comments.