Promising Practice

Central Reporting Unit for Criminal Content on the Internet

Zentrale Meldestelle für strafbare Inhalte im Internet (ZMI)
New unit within the Federal Criminal Police Office charged with running the new obligatory reporting system for leading social network providers regarding specific unlawful online content.
Encourage reporting


Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA).

Start and end date

The reporting obligation will be applicable from 1 February 2022 (10 months after the Law on combating right-wing extremism and hate crime was promulgated). It will be an ongoing practice.

The law entered into force on 3 April 2021.



Target group(s)

Social networks with more than two million registered users in Germany.




  • Ensure that criminal acts on the internet are vigorously and efficiently prosecuted.
  • Deter users from spreading hate crime or other unlawful content online.
  • Carry out an overview of the types and amounts of unlawful content that users report to social networks.


Not yet available.


  • Leading social network providers will be obliged to report specific unlawful content to the BKA, including content endangering the democratic state under the rule of law, offences against public order and offences against personal liberty. This also includes acts of hate crime and child abuse that are committed on the internet.
  • A new unit within the BKA will check the content for an initial suspicion of a criminal act and identify the jurisdiction in charge.
  • After identifying which jurisdiction is locally in charge, the BKA will forward the data to the competent law enforcement authority.

Critical success factors

The law entered into force on 3 April 2021. The reporting system will apply from 1 February 2022. The reporting system has not yet been used, but in general:

  • it is important that illegal content is reported as soon as possible after it is uploaded to prevent it from becoming widespread and to prevent loss of data;
  • the complaints mechanism needs to be easily recognisable, directly accessible and permanently available to encourage users to report illegal content;
  • to be able to cope with the expected daily volume of operations, processes within the ZMI need to be standardised and automated to a large extent.

Actors involved in the design and implementation of the practice

During the process of establishing the ZMI, various meetings and workshops with all relevant stakeholders, including the providers, the federal state police and justice departments, were conducted. Involvement and engagement with these actors will continue.

Monitoring and evaluation

The legislator envisages an evaluation of the scheme taking place four years after its entry into force.

Publicly available contact details

Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (Bundesministerium des Innern, für Bau und Heimat)