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German Minister falls victim to his own rules
Forced to delete tweet under new law

  Germany signalled on Monday that it was open to amending a controversial law combating online hate speech as the Justice Minister fell victim to the rules he himself championed.

The move came after Twitter deleted a post by Heiko Maas dating back to 2010 before he was appointed Justice Minister, in which he called Thilo Sarrazin, a fellow politician, “an idiot”.

The post was deleted after Twitter received several complaints, fuelling a simmering row over the new regulation which critics say stifle freedom of speech.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said an evaluation would be carried out within six months to examine how well the new law was working.

The legislation, which came into force on January 1, requires social media giants to remove hate speech and other illegal content, or risk fines of up to €50 million ($57 million).

Companies such as Twitter and Facebook have 24 hours to remove posts after they are flagged by users.



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