Germany urges Facebook to censor racist posts

2015-08-27 16:20
Facebook. (AP)

Facebook. (AP) (Joerg Koch)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Berlin - Germany has urged Facebook to censor racist posts, prompting the world's biggest online social media company to say on Thursday that it took such concerns very seriously.

Rightist and racist groups in Germany who often accuse media of shutting out their views have developed deep networks on Facebook where multitudes of "friends" tap "like" to support derogatory statements about the thousands of refugees arriving every day.

Justice Minister Heiko Maas wrote to Facebook's German and European chiefs asking for a meeting on September 14 on the issue.

"Facebook users are complaining that your company, despite concrete complaints, is not effectively preventing racist and xenophobic posts and comments," he said in the letter obtained by dpa.

He said the users had often received replies that certain comments were not in breach of Facebook's community standards.

Facebook told dpa it would meet with the minister. "We welcome the letter and we take these concerns seriously," a spokesperson said.

She said racism clearly breached Facebook rules, adding, "We appeal to people not to use our platform to spread hate talk." Facebook did not say whether or not it had accepted the date proposed by Maas.

The justice minister said certain comments he had seen were "evident" instances of the German crime of sedition, which includes spreading defamatory talk about an ethnic group. He said Facebook was legally obliged to delete statements that were illegal.

With Berlin saying it expects up to 800 000 applications this year for political asylum, equivalent to 1% of its population, anti-foreigner groups have mobilised, mainly in eastern Germany, whereas the rest of the country has been more welcoming.

Germany has moved to quickly absorb new arrivals from Syria and other wartorn zones while urging arrivals from the Balkans to go home.

Last year, the anti-Islam group Pegida used Facebook as its prime channel to organise weekly demonstrations in Dresden.

German law does not require online communities to filter posts, but it does oblige them to delete illegal material once the operating company's attention has been drawn to it.

Read more on:    facebook  |  germany  |  social networks

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.