The Federal Press Office in the Chancellery, which has a staff of over 500 professionals, will take the leading role in establishing the fake news defense center, Der Spiegel reported quoting a note from an anonymous Interior Ministry staff member.
According to the Interior Ministry plan, the center will focus on offering “intensification of political education work” with groups susceptible to “fake news” – namely “Russian-Germans” as well as “Turkish-speaking people.”
The creation of the center “should be negotiated very quickly,” the magazine said quoting the note, which also urged that political parties establish ground rules for the 2017 election campaigns. According to report, the Interior Ministry also urged politicians not to use social bots and disinformation techniques during the election cycle.
Earlier, German lawmakers called on new laws and tougher new measures against social media platforms which disseminate fake news. Justice Minister Heiko Maas called on the government to set “legal consequences” for internet giants.
“We expect clear improvements in Facebook’s removal practice. The standard must be German law,” Maas told Suddeutsche Zeitung.
Social Democratic Party parliamentary chairman Thomas Oppermann called for social media outlets to be prosecuted for their role in validating fake news.
“If, after the relevant checks, Facebook does not immediately, within 24 hours, delete the offending post then [it] must reckon with severe penalties of up to 500,000 euros,” Oppermann told Der Spiegel.
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