The 11th Hamburg Media symposium, planned for 10 June 2020 and organized by the HBI in cooperation with the Medienanstalt Hamburg/Schleswig-Holstein (MA HSH) and the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, hjad to be canceld due to the Corona pandemie. It was supposed to focuse on the current draft laws on hate speech and possible "collateral damage."
The federal government had initiated drafts for a law against hate and right-wing extremism as well as for an amendment of the social media law "NetzDG" (Network Enforcement Act, NEA). In addition, a new law for the protection of minors is to respond to risks for children on the Internet, which will make the platforms more aware of their duty of precaution. New regulations are also being prepared at European level to address international platforms.
Many welcome the fact that the state is (finally) taking action and is not shying away from regulating major platforms. However, this raises some very fundamental questions:
- Does the control of communication really solve the social problems behind hateful communication on the Internet?
- Who bears responsibility in this context, and what can we expect from platform providers?
- How can legal measures be taken to safeguard the civil liberties of communicating citizens?
- What other possibilities are there for advocating more civility in online discussions?
The symposium was planned to follow on from last year's one, which dealt with the limits of what can be said. This year, the focus was planned to be on state protection mechanisms and possible "collateral damage".