On January 1st, Germany passed a law that obligates social networks to remove content that is considered to be illegal and offensive in 24 hours, or they will be forced to pay fines going as high as $60 million.
The bill is designed to cut down any hate speech, fake news, or any criminal content on social media. However, there are people opposing this law, saying that it might put freedom of speech in the online community in jeopardy. Although this law was approved in 2017, the German government waited for the beginning of 2018 to enforce it in order to give social media companies time to prepare.
All social media companies will receive complaints or notifications whenever certain content is considered offensive, informing them that they have to remove it within a week or pay a fine. If the content is considered to be “clearly” illegal, it must be banned or removed within a day or the punishment will be severe.
These new changes can affect a lot of internet services and businesses looking to protect themselves online. Information on social media is a valuable resource for many companies and service providers. This new law could change the way information on social media is gathered and used.
Web scraping and social media scraping services, in particular, will be greatly affected in light of these events. Social media scraping, and data scraping services overall offer great value to companies as they can track their competition, learn about the latest news in their industry, learn more about their customers and see what people are talking about them online.
This means that companies that use these services will get better data when it’s “scraped” as there is no risk of getting illegal or fake content, which they didn’t want in the first place. Given the fact that this content will be flagged and/or removed, it will be easier to filter out quality content and scrape what is needed without the wrong content falling into the right “box”.
Many companies use data scraping to do online background checks. Through this data, they can learn about their potential customers, business partners, and potential new employees. Given the fact that all hateful content will be flagged, companies can now use this data to protect their brands from being associated with hateful and racist people.
Web scraping has helped many companies grow and conduct better business overall, and with these changes, the data on social media is only going to become even more valuable to organizations.