“We have zero tolerance for hate speech and we support the goals of NetzDG,” Facebook said in a statement.
Twitter, which received around 833,000 complaints and removed roughly 81,000 posts during the same period, said that most of those posts did not fit the definition of illegal speech, but still violated the company’s terms of service.
“Threats, abusive content and harassment have the potential to silence people,” Twitter said in a statement. “However, regulation and legislation like this also have the potential to chill free speech by emboldening regimes around the world to legislate as a way to stifle dissent and legitimate speech.”
YouTube, which received around 312,000 complaints and removed around 48,000 pieces of content in the first six months of the year, declined to comment more than say it complies with the law.
The amount of hate speech has become increasingly pronounced during election season, according to researchers at Reset and HateAid, organizations that track hate speech online and are pushing for stricter laws.
The groups reviewed nearly a million comments about far-right groups and conspirators in about 75,000 Facebook posts in June, and found that roughly 5 percent were “highly toxic” or in violation of the online hate speech law. Some of the worst materials, including messages with Nazi symbolism, had been online for more than a year, the groups found. Of the 100 posts reported by the groups to Facebook, about half were removed within a few days, while the others remain online.
The election has also seen a wave of disinformation, including false claims about voter fraud.
Annalena Baerbock, the 40-year-old Green Party leader and the only woman among the top candidates running to succeed Merkel, has been subjected to an enormous amount of abuse compared to her male rivals from other parties, including the sexist one. smears and disinformation campaigns, according to researchers.