Host service providers
Federal Act establishing penal and media policy measures to combat hate on the Internet
Hate and hate speech on social media and on the Internet are global phenomena in terms of social policy, the relevance of which has increased massively in recent decades due to the technological change in forms of communication. Hate is not only directed towards groups that are perceived by the perpetrators as different or foreign, but in many cases also affects individuals. A substantial part of the attacks are based on racist, xenophobic, misogynistic or homophobic motives and range from insults and verbal abuse to dangerous threats, hate speech or cyberbullying. The situation is particularly stressful for those affected due to the general public nature of digital space, which is reinforced by the fact that illegal content is often not deleted or deleted very late and thus remains visible online for a long time. Although a code of conduct and corresponding agreements for the rapid deletion of hate postings have already been agreed with large communication platform operators such as Twitter or Facebook at both European and national level, requests for deletion from individual users by social media providers are often not complied with in a satisfactory manner.
The draft Act aims to remedy this unsatisfactory situation with measures under penal and media policy measures. Amongst other aspects, § 36b of the Media Act aims to intervene with regard to host providers in constellations in which the media owner themselves (§ 1(1)(8) of the Media Act), i.e. essentially the person who is ultimately responsible for the content of the publication, is not tangible, in order to close gaps with regard to the possibilities of action against undesired media content. This should enable hate posts to be permanently removed from the electronic communication network upon request.