Friday, 9 December 2016

Censoring Facebook


German lawmaker warns Facebook to censor “hate speech” or face consequences

Alex Christoferou
8 December, 2016
A senior German conservative warns Facebook it could face fines if it fails to act faster to stop online hate speech.
The German neo-liberal class of lawmakers continue to push the “hate speech” agenda, which is really just the beginning of the German government (and eventually the entire European Union) censoring speech that they deem inappropriate in terms of their world view and agenda.

Who defines what “hate speech” is? Where does hate speech end, and full on government censorship begin? German lawmakers could never answer these questions, nor do they want to. They simply want to get the ball rolling on curbing dissenting voices, so as to have complete control of the media and social narrative.

Expecting Facebook to be judge, jury and executioner when defining “hate speech” is unrealistic, and sets a very dangerous precedent. It is also intrinsically anti-internet. The web was founded on freedom of expression. Germany lawmakers wish to break a core function of what makes the internet work.
Speaking at a party conference of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), Volker Kauder suggested German politicians were running out of patience with efforts by social media companies to censor hate speech.
I expect from big companies like Facebook that they adhere to laws. If they are not respected than we must think about new possibilities, fines for example.”
They say there is too much. But a big auto manufacturer that produces millions of cars can’t say: ‘I produce so many cars that I can’t guarantee they are all secure.’ No, that is not on. I expect and demand from Facebook that laws are upheld.”

Very smart analogy by Mr. Kauder…comparing social media posts to building automobiles. We all know that building a car is exactly the same as composing a tweet.
Facebook declined immediate comment on Kauder’s remarks.
Germany is seen as a forerunner when it comes to forcing Facebook to step up efforts to police online hate speech, which has risen here following an influx of almost one million migrants, mainly from the Middle East, last year.
Politicians are also worried about how hate speech and fake news could sway public opinion ahead of elections next year in which Merkel will be running for a fourth term and facing an increasingly popular far right.
Last year, Justice Minister Heiko Maas set up a task force made up of representatives from Facebook, Google’s YouTube and Twitter as well as nonprofit groups to discuss ways to combat the rise in online hate speech.
The platform providers signed up to a voluntary code of conduct to take action to remove hate posts within 24 hours.
Results of a survey published in September by a group that monitors hate speech found Facebook removed about 46 percent of illegal content reported by users within 24 hours, significantly more than YouTube and Twitter which deleted just 10 percent and about 1 percent respectively.
Maas has repeatedly warned that he will propose legislation if the social media networks do not remove at least 70 percent of hate speech by March next year.
Kauder said Maas, a member of the Social Democrats, Merkel’s junior coalition partner, was being too easy on social media.
We have a roundtable and now we must wait … but after the Christmas break is the end of the roundtables. We’ve sat at roundtables long enough. Now we want to see actions.”

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