Facebook Fined For Under-Reporting Illegal Content

Over the past year, Facebook has increasingly come under scrutiny from U.S. regulators for its questionable data and privacy practices. However, the pressure that the company faces here at home pales in comparison to what it deals with overseas. Another instance of Europe’s aversion to the social media giant occurred this week, when German officials fined Facebook $2.3 million for under-reporting complaints about illegal content.

The German regulators said Facebook has tallied only certain kinds of complaints, perhaps deliberately, to create a rosier picture of reality on the platform. Officials also seemed to suggest that Facebook may be making it more difficult than necessary to find the form required to report illegal content.

However, Facebook hit back hard at the allegations, pinning the blame for any problems in its reporting squarely on the German law itself.

“Many critics have pointed out there are a number of areas where this law lacks clarity,” a Facebook spokesperson said. “We will analyze the fine notice carefully and reserve the right to appeal.”

Of course, the German fine will hardly register for a company with pockets as deep as Facebook’s. However, the regulators’ public statements serve as a warning: the company can no longer get away with the things it used to, and that’s a good thing.

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