German “Facebook Law“ creates risk of over-blocking

first_img June 2, 2021 Find out more GermanyEurope – Central Asia Online freedoms Freedom of expressionInternet July 10, 2017 German “Facebook Law“ creates risk of over-blocking Justin TALLIS / AFP German BND Act: A missed opportunity for press freedom Organisation RSF asks Germany to let Myanmar journalist Mratt Kyaw Thu apply for asylum Follow the news on Germany Reporters Without Borders is concerned that the “Facebook Law” about to be finally passed by Germany’s second chamber of parliament will have negative repercussions for press freedom. Even though during parliamentary deliberations the governing coalition took up some of the criticism against the bill and changed a number of problematic provisions at the last minute, the core problem of the bill against hate-speech in social media – or Network Enforcement Act, as it is officially named – remains unresolved: Backed by a threat of heavy monetary fines, the law will oblige providers of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter to remove “clearly unlawful” content within 24 hours of notification. “The short deadline for removal, coupled with the threat of heavy fines, will very likely drive social networks to remove more content than is legally justified. Even journalistic publications will face a real danger of being affected by this kind over-blocking without due process”, said RSF Germany’s executive director Christian Mihr. “This hastily-drafted bill should be adjourned and only decided upon after national elections this coming fall and after thorough consultations with civil society. This applies especially true for the crucial question under which conditions content will have to be removed.” The obligation to remove content within 24 hours will apply to posts “clearly” punishable under German criminal law, such as obvious cases of sedition, threats, insult, libel and slander. For illegal, but not clearly defamatory or inciting content, the deadline for removal is set at seven days and can be extended if the respective network delegates the binding decision to a yet to be created body of self-regulation. Consistent non-compliance with the law may be punished with fines between five and 50 million Euros. THE BILL RISKS AGGRAVATING THE PROBLEM OF NON TRANSPARENT CONTENT REMOVAL PRACTICES Given social networks’ essential role not only as a tool of journalistic investigation and for news distribution, but also for bypassing censorship in repressive countries such as China, Turkey or Vietnam, RSF has warned Germany’s government and lawmakers against setting a dangerous precedent that may easily be used as an excuse for new censorship by authoritarian governments eager to repress independent voices. At the same time, regulation of social media is sorely needed because networks like Facebook have a history of removing journalistic content and backing down only after public protest. For instance, last fall Facebook deleted a post by Norway’s Aftenposten newspaper showing the iconic photo of the “Vietnam girl” fleeing naked from Napalm bombs. Last year in June, the network blocked the account of French journalist and Radio France International terrorism expert David Thomson because of an old post showing a photo depicting the “Islamic State” militia’s flag. In Myanmar, Facebook recently provoked a storm by suddenly blocking posts containing the word “kalar”, which is often employed by nationalists as a derisive term for the country’s Muslim minority but may equally be used in innocuous expressions or in media articles criticizing nationalists’ agitation. Examples like these show how problematic it is to let social networks decide in a completely non transparent manner which content to delete or block. RSF has therefore called for years on social network companies to engage in a serious dialogue about this practice. However, the new German law risks aggravating the problem rather than encouraging procedures tied more closely to the rule of law. It remains thus unclear how the private companies that social media providers are should be able to decide within a very short timeframe about complex legal questions that often take months to be ruled on when taken to court. NO EMPIRICAL BASIS EXISTS FOR THE NEED OF SUCH A LAW Among the questions left open by the bill is why some criminal offenses are to be covered by the new law while others are not. It also remains unclear why the government deems necessary a new law for some offenses in the first place, considering that empirical data about social networks’ performance dealing with hate speech is virtually non-existent. Reporters Without Borders and almost all other experts had lambasted the bill in a public hearing by parliament’s legal committee. After that, the governing coalition reduced the range of offenses covered by the bill and excluded in particular state-related offenses such as insult of the president. The coalition also dropped a clause requiring social networks to use content filters that would have automatically analyzed any existing content and deleted it if deemed illegal, which would effectively have made impossible to publish some content even though no judge would ever have ruled on its legal status. Among its few positive aspects, the bill obliges social networks to name representatives who will have to respond to prosecutors’ requests within 48 hours, aiming to speed up judicial investigations and to strengthen legal recourse. The bill also requires the companies to publish transparency reports about their deletion practice, even though it is incomprehensible why such reports will now have to be produced every half year only rather than every three months, as was initially intended. Germany is ranked 16th among 180 countries on RSF’s annual World Press Freedom Index. Help by sharing this information News Use the Digital Services Act to make democracy prevail over platform interests, RSF tells EU to go further Receive email alerts May 31, 2021 Find out more GermanyEurope – Central Asia Online freedoms Freedom of expressionInternet News RSF_en News News March 30, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

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Seminars to Educate Business Advisors about Employee Ownership

first_imgSeminars to Educate Business Advisors about Employee OwnershipBurlington, Vermont (August 19, 2008) — The Vermont Employee Ownership Center (VEOC) will be holding seminars in three locations around the state designed to educate business advisors about the basics of employee ownership.Designed for attorneys, CPAs, bankers, trust officers, and other professional advisors, ESOPs & Succession Planning: A Technical Introduction to Employee Ownership for Business Advisors will give attendees the tools necessary to advise their clients about employee ownership as an option for their business succession plan.The seminars will be held at the following locations:” September 18th at the Doubletree Hotel in Burlington (8:00 am to 10:30 am)” October 7th at the Brattleboro Savings & Loan in Brattleboro (2:30 pm to 5:00 pm)” October 21st at the Inn at Willow Pond in Manchester (2:30 pm to 5:00 pm)The cost for attending is $40 ($25 for additional attendees from the same firm). Refreshments will be served. More information and online registration is available at www.veoc.org(link is external).The speaker is Stephen P. Magowan, of Steiker, Fischer, Edwards & Greenapple, P.C., a Philadelphia-based law firm with a national practice focusing principally on ESOPs and ESOP transactions, and of SES Advisors, Inc., a financial consulting firm that specializes in analyzing and finding financing for ESOP transactions.The Vermont Employee Ownership Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and fostering employee ownership. The group’s goals are to broaden capital ownership, deepen employee participation, retain local ownership of businesses and the jobs they support, increase living standards for working families, and stabilize communities. VEOC works directly with owners interested in selling their business to their employees, employee groups interested in purchasing a business, and entrepreneurs who wish to start a company with broadly-shared ownership. For more information, visit www.veoc.org(link is external).________________________________________This project is funded by a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBAs funding should not be construed as an endorsement of any products, opinions, or services. All SBA-funded projects are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact Jon Crystal at 802-861-6611.last_img read more

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Zinedine Zidane praises Gareth Bale after Real Madrid goal against Arsenal but still wants rid of the Welshman

first_imgGareth Bale remains a fringe figure at Real Madrid (Picture: AMA/Getty Images)Zinedine Zidane had some kind words for Gareth Bale after the Welshman scored for Real Madrid against Arsenal on Tuesday night, but insists his future still remains elsewhere.Bale came on to score in a 2-2 draw with the Gunners in Maryland, before Real won the match on penalties.Zidane was impressed with the winger’s commitment and his display in the pre-season friendly, but it has done little to convince him that he should retain his services.The Real boss has made it very clear that he wants to sell the former Spurs man this summer, and he is sticking to his guns.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘He put in a good performance and I’m pleased for him,’ said Zidane. ‘Nothing has changed, you know the situation.‘He played today, he wanted to and he did a good job.‘He wanted to be with us today; he trained normally and played the match. I make the decisions and he played one half.‘We’ll have to see what happens. He’s still here with us at this stage.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityBale scored in the 56th minute for Real after coming on for Eden Hazard at half-time, halving his side’s deficit after Arsenal took a 2-0 lead through Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.Marco Asensio levelled things up taking the match to penalties where Bale missed his spot-kick but Real won 3-2 after misses from Granit Xhaka, Nacho Monreal and Robbie Burton.Asensio went off injured in the second half, with a seemingly serious knee ligament injury, which could see him miss the entirety of the coming season.However, Zidane confirmed that the fitness problem would not change his opinion on Bale: ‘We are all touched by Marco’s injury and we are all hoping it is not as serious as it looks, but it has nothing to do with Bale’s position.’Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, who labelled Zidane a ‘disgrace’ insists his client could still have a future in Madrid and will not be pushed out of the club.‘There will be no makeshift deals to get him out of the club,’ Bale’s agent Barnett told Sky Sports. ‘Gareth is one of the best players on the planet. I can guarantee you he will not be going on loan to any club.’Gareth is a Real Madrid player and for now he’s staying as a Real Madrid player ‘If something comes along that suits us, then things could change and he could be gone in a day or a week. ‘Or he could still be a Real player in three years when his contract ends.’MORE: Lille respond to Manchester United offer for Liverpool transfer target Nicolas PepeMORE: Jurgen Klopp speaks out on Liverpool transfer plans amid Nicolas Pepe and Philippe Coutinho links Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 24 Jul 2019 8:00 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link Comment Zinedine Zidane praises Gareth Bale after Real Madrid goal against Arsenal but still wants rid of the Welshmancenter_img Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

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