Germany’s Merkel Contemplates Social Media Crackdown to Counter “Fake News”

Watts Up With That?


Guest essay by Eric Worrall

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is planning new censorship laws, a harsh crack down on “fake news”, which according to President Obama seems to include any criticism of climate theory.

“Something has changed — as globalization has marched on, [political] debate is taking place in a completely new media environment. Opinions aren’t formed the way they were 25 years ago,” she said Wednesday while addressing Germany’s Bundestag, or parliament. “Today we have fake sites, bots, trolls — things that regenerate themselves, reinforcing opinions with certain algorithms, and we have to learn to deal with them.”

Merkel indicated that she supported tougher measures to crack down on hate speech in its various forms and figure out new ways to regulate the complicated ecosystem of online information (and misinformation).

“I believe we should not underestimate what is happening in the context of the Internet and…

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