Facebook Promises Better Handling of Hate Speech Removal in Germany

By Stephen Fuchs on Email @StephenWFuchs

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After some back and forth with German politicians, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, Facebook has agreed to increase their efforts to seek out and remove xenophobic and racist messages made by users on its social network in Germany, mostly centering around the recent influx of refugees entering the country.

Merkel made her frustration known during an interview last week, saying that “If people, using their own name, incite hatred against other people, not only the government has to act, but also Facebook should do something against those statements”.

Facebook reiterated that there were already measures in place to cooperate with German hate speech laws, but stated that the system is “not 100% effective”. However, Facebook executives met with German Justice Minister Heiko Maas on Monday to reevaluate the procedures.

“The idea is to better identify content that is against the law and remove it faster from the Web,” Maas stated after the meeting. And that is what Facebook, with the help of other organizations, will begin doing. The social network did express though that their policy on what should be removed has not changed and that the company is just putting more effort into finding the messages that violate not only Germany’s laws but also Facebook’s own hate speech policy.


Source: Wall Street Journal
Photo: Maria Elena [Flickr]

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Stephen Fuchs
Stephen founded German Pulse and LGBT Germany out of a passion to introduce Americans to a Germany that goes beyond beer and polka (although with enough beer he has been known to polka it up a bit). He's a coffee addict, lover of wine and good times, a hit in the kitchen and editor of TV commercials. You can follow him on Twitter (@StephenWFuchs) to find out a lot more.
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