Austrian "Hate in the Net" Draft Law Takes Online Platform in Responsibility

PoliticsDomestic ♦ Published: September 3, 2020; 15:33 ♦ (Vindobona)

The draft law against "Hate in the Net" obliges online platforms to introduce an effective reporting procedure and to delete unlawful content immediately. The third major point is the issue of a contact person including an address.

Maurer, Zadic, Edtstadler and Raab presented today the draft law "Hate in the Net". / Picture: © Bundeskanzleramt (BKA) / Regina Aigner

The Minister of Justice Zadic, Minister of Constitutional Affairs Edtstadler, Minister for Women Raab and "Grüne" Club Chairwomen Maurer presented today the draft law "Hate in the Net" which should support and defend victims of online hate.

Online platforms are now required to provide an easy and effective reporting procedure for users in order to report any type of hateful posts, messages or comments.

The platforms have to inform the users about the outcome of the procedure.

Furthermore, unlawful content is obliged to be deleted as soon as possible. However, obviously unlawful content has be deleted within 24 hours and more complex cases have seven days.

After the deletion, the platform needs to save the removed content internally for ten weeks in order to have the possibility to identify the author.

Nonetheless, the author also has the right to ask for a second check if the content was deleted wrongfully in his opinion.

The last major point is an obligated issue of a contact person of the platform. In case the platform is not providing any contact details, it faces a fine up to 10 million euros.

The law will be valid for platforms with a minimum of 100,000 registered user or a minimum turnover of 500,000 euros yearly.

Not included are non-profit platforms like Wikipedia, Willhaben and online forums of newspapers.