The issue has taken on more urgency due to concern about the spread of fake news and racist content on social media, with many in Germany's political establishment anxious it could influence public opinion in this year's election campaign.
Germany moved forward Wednesday with a legislation that would implement heavy fines on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, for failing to quickly remove hate speech and fake news, according to Deutsche Welle.
The new rules call for social media sites to delete at least 70 percent of inappropriate and illegal posts within 24 hours of their postings.
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The list of offensive materials includes various forms of hate speech and online incitement of hatred as well as fake news, libel, and defamation, along with child pornography and terrorism-related activities.
German ministers have approved a draft law aimed at tackling the growing problem of cyber hate and false information of a criminal nature on the web.
This is not entirely news as social networks are already bound by German law to remove illegal content from their websites as soon as it is reported.
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"However: freedom of expression ends where criminal law begins. anyone who spreads criminal content on the Internet must be consistently prosecuted and brought to justice", he added.
Stephen Deadman, Facebook's global deputy chief privacy officer, said at a conference in Berlin last month that the social media giant's scale makes it hard to monitor and filter everything that gets published and that it had hundreds of staff working on the issue.
"We owe it to the victims of hate crime to manage this better".
Other offensive content would have to be deleted within seven days after it is reported. "As experts have pointed out, this legislation would force private companies rather than the courts to become the judges of what is illegal in Germany", a Facebook spokesperson told VICE News.
Twitter was not immediately available to comment on the announcement.
The bill provoked a wave of criticism from opposition politicians, media companies and various network activists.