FACT CHECK: Did Germany Fine Twitter $30 Billion?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A post shared on Twitter claims Germany fined Twitter $30 billion for hate speech law violations.

Verdict: Misleading

While Germany’s Federal Office of Justice has started proceedings against Twitter, it has not fined Twitter.

Fact Check:

The Twitter post claims that Musk has been fined $30 billion by Germany. The tweet reads, “Elon Musk’s Twitter has been fined with $30 billion in Germany (which is more than Twitter is currently worth) over Twitter’s repeated “systemic failures” to comply with Germany’s “hate speech” laws.”

However, there is no evidence that Germany has fined Twitter $30 billion. If the country had fined Twitter that much money, media outlets would cover it, yet none have. A press release from Germany’s Federal Office of Justice does state that it has started proceedings against Twitter under the Network Enforcement Act.

The provider of Twitter is subject to the provisions of the NetzDG. The BfJ has sufficient indications that it has violated the legal obligation to deal with complaints about illegal content and that this is a systemic failure in the complaint management of the provider, which is subject to a fine,” reads the press release. (RELATED: Does Tesla’s Cybertruck Come With A Free Lifetime Twitter Blue Check Mark?)

The claim appears to stem from a TechCrunch article. The TechCrunch article reports that Twitter could face fines up to €30 billion, but it does not state that Germany has issued such a massive fine against Twitter.

“Of course a theoretical maximum outcome is unlikely. But there’s clearly no shortage of cases the BfJ could enforce — meaning fines for Musk-owned Twitter’s failures to purge hate speech could nonetheless quickly stack up. And Musk doesn’t have a limitless supply of legacy office furniture to sell to service his debts,” the TechCrunch article reads.

Check Your Fact reached out to Twitter’s press team, which responded with a poop emoji. Check Your Fact reached out to Germany’s Federal Office of Justice and will update this article if a response is provided.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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