“This paper argues that the binary opposition in the treatment of hate speech in the US and Europe hides non-binary preoccupations that reflect different primary fears which do not fall along the same ‘scale’. European liberal democracies fear the consequences of hate speech being left uncensored in the public domain (a WHAT concern) whilst America fears the consequences of content interventions by government (a WHO concern). The paper then proposes that the German Network Enforcement Law of 2017 builds a bridge between American and European speech traditions. NetzDG requires major platforms to moderate content in response to user takedown notices based on legally imposed speech standards. The mechanism of public standards being enforced through private processes is arguably uniquely adept at simultaneously assuaging the primary European fear about the absence of effective speech controls in the public domain and the primary American fear about the presence of governmental censorship.”


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