It seems Nigeria is not the only country battling with hate speech.

Germany is set to start enforcing a law that demands social media sites move quickly to remove hate speech, fake news and illegal material.

Sites that do not remove "obviously illegal" posts could face fines of up to 50m euro (roughly N21.3 billion).

The law gives the networks 24 hours to act after they have been told about law-breaking material.

Social networks and media sites with more than two million members will fall under the law's provisions.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will be the law's main focus but it is also likely to be applied to Reddit, Tumblr and Russian social network VK. Other sites such as Vimeo and Flickr could also be caught up in its provisions.

The Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz (NetzDG) law was passed at the end of June 2017 and came into force in early October.

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The social networks were given until the end of 2017 to prepare themselves for the arrival of NetzDG.


The call to police social media sites more effectively arose after several high-profile cases in which fake news and racist material was being spread via the German arms of prominent social media firms.

Germany's justice ministry said it would make forms available on its site, which concerned citizens could use to report content that violates NetzDG or has not been taken down in time.

As well as forcing social media firms to act quickly, NetzDG requires them to put in place a comprehensive complaints structure so that posts can quickly be reported to staff.

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