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German justice minister wants to tighten online hate laws

Following a deadly attack in the city of Halle last week, Ge..

Following a deadly attack in the city of Halle last week, German Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht has called for tougher rules on online hate speech and death threats.

The self-confessed perpetrator of the Halle attack, in which two people were killed, has reportedly said he was driven by anti-Semitic and far-right beliefs.

“We have to talk about the breeding ground in which extreme-right violence grows. Words become deeds,” Lambrecht told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag in an interview published Sunday.

“Were also seeing increasing brutalization, hatred and agitation on the internet. Here it must be very clear that the internet is not a legal vacuum,” said Lambrecht, a member of the Social Democrats, the junior partner in Angela Merkels government.

Online platforms should be legally obliged to report all posts inciting racial hatred and murder to the authorities, without waiting for users to flag them, Lambrecht said.

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