Free speech isn’t actually that common a concept. At the extreme end, some countries will execute people for saying or writing things that deemed treasonous against the nation’s dominant religion or critical of the regime in power. In the Western world, the death penalty is uncommon, and people aren’t executed for saying the wrong thing. However, people can still go to jail, and companies can be both fined or banned from operating within certain nations.
Germany has some of the most restrictive speech laws in Europe, most of which were put in place following World War II when a failed Austrian painter took the concept a bit too far, stripped the right from everyone who disagreed with him, committed a number of genocides, invaded most of Germany’s neighbors, and very nearly destroyed the entire world. As a result, mention of “Naziism” and anything remotely like it will result in the German Police paying you a visit. This includes certain symbols, which is why Germany gets its own version of World War II-themed games like Wolfenstein. It is also why German Twitter is its own ecosystem.
A German law passed in 2018 forces social media companies to promptly remove anything that could be considered “hateful content.” Twitter users who set their location to Germany won’t see the same tweets users based in other locations get, as an algorithm blocks those tweets out. If Twitter doesn’t remove clearly hateful content, or at least stop it from being visible in Germany, within 24 hours of it being flagged the company can be fined up to €50 million (via CNBC).
Germany is unlikely to budge on these laws, so Musk hasn’t got much of a chance of bringing his “free speech” concept to the country.