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Tackling Hate, Germany Tests Limits of Online Free Speech

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While most Western democracies like the United States have avoided policing the internet because of free speech rights, with, at most, a social media platform removing a post or suspending a person’s account, Germany has begun criminally prosecuting people for online hate speech, report Adam Satariano and Christopher F. Schuetze for the New York Times.

In March, German authorities searched roughly 100 homes across the country as part of a coordinated nationwide crackdown that continues to this day. German authorities have brought charges for insults, threats and harassment, raided homes, confiscated electronics and brought people in for questioning, and judges have enforced fines worth thousands of dollars each and even sent some offenders to jail.

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