I've read an article that in Germany users can and do report online hate-speech contents under NetzDG, a law that imposes heavy fines on companies that do not take down such contents relatively quickly.

The way Twitter has implemented compliance with NetzDG seems to be that they filter out certain tweets in Germany. I'm curious if any of Trump's tweets have been thus filtered out in Germany (due to NetzDG requests).

  • 5
    Probably, but same can go for anything else. I'm a moderator on FB for a Hearts Of Iron 4 (World war 2 alternative reality game) and we even got somebody posting the Israel flag reported for hate speech content... they are so afraid of getting the legal troubles that with enough reports they just instantly remove it.
    – A.bakker
    Feb 28, 2020 at 10:48
  • 1
    @A.bakker On the other hand, the moderators of social media sites tend to treat celebrity users different than regular users. Otherwise their posts wouldn't survive for long. When a post has a reach of literally millions of people, there will always be some flags on those posts.
    – Philipp
    Feb 28, 2020 at 12:51

1 Answer 1


Not as far as I can tell. As part of its obligations under the NetzDG law, Twitter is required to publish a biannual report regarding the handling of complaints submitted pursuant to this law, which can be found here. In the latest, Report July - December, 2019, the decision criteria for removal is described:


Jede erhaltene NetzDG-Beschwerde wird zuerst anhand der Twitter Allgemeinen Geschäftsbedingungen (“AGB”) und Twitter Regeln überprüft. Stellen wir fest, dass Inhalte die Twitter Allgemeinen Geschäftsbedingungen und/oder die Twitter Regeln verletzen, werden diese gänzlich von der Plattform entfernt. Die verbleibenden Inhalte werden dann hinsichtlich des NetzDG überprüft. Wenn festgestellt wird, dass Inhalte gegen NetzDG verstoßen, werden diese basierend auf lokalem Recht in Deutschland zurückgezogen.

My translation:

Decision Criteria

Each NetzDG complaint received is first checked under the Twitter Terms of Service and Twitter rules. If we find that the content contravenes either of these, we remove the content completely from the platform. The remaining contents are then checked under the NetzDG terms. If it is determined that the content violates NetzDG, it is withdrawn based on local law in Germany.

I can't find any instance of Twitter removing Trump's tweets from the platform as a whole for hate speech, only for copyright infringement, so let's assume that if a tweet had been removed under the NetzDG law, it must be only blocked in Germany.

The remainder of this paragraph describes how all takedown requests are published by Twitter to the Lumen database, which collects legal complaints and requests from removal. A search there yields all NetzDG requests, each with a list of infringing URLs, none of which seem to come from @realDonaldTrump (User ID: 25073877).

In addition, if a tweet had been blocked in Germany in particular, it is not expunged completely (source); users browsing from that country see a message as below:

enter image description here

We can conclude, therefore, based on the fact that President Trump is a particularly prominent public figure, and the reporting of previous instances of his tweets being removed (see above) that there would have been at least some reporting of this having occurred; however I can find no such reports. This combined with the above database leads me to be fairly confident that the NetzDG laws have not been used to censor any of President Trump's tweets.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .