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Facebook, Google and Twitter Agree To Delete Hate Speech In Germany (reuters.com) 259

An anonymous reader writes: Facebook, Google, and Twitter have agreed to remove hateful posts from their platforms within 24 hours in Germany, officials announced yesterday. The web companies committed to the move in a new agreement with German authorities, after coming under increased pressure to help curb racism online in the country. The agreement will require web companies operating in Germany to conform with the law when monitoring hate speech expressed on their platforms, instead of referring to internal policies. The German law stipulates that any comment inciting violence against ethnic or religious groups is punishable by up to three years in prison.
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Facebook, Google and Twitter Agree To Delete Hate Speech In Germany

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 16, 2015 @01:39PM (#51130885)

    Do the same rules apply?

    German Muslim: 'Islam Is Coming And Your Daughters Will Wear The Hijab'
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAWNmAdgMHI

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 16, 2015 @01:59PM (#51131099)

      Where does it say "but not Muslim"? Anywhere, in any law on what constitutes "hate speech" is "but not Muslim" appearing?

      If nowhere, then where did this pansy query come from and why was it so central to your psyche that you HAD TO ask it?

      And the same to the other morons making the same whiney-ass pissant little cries about "wadaboudamusim!" like scsirob.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Where does it say "but not Muslim"?

        Between the lines, of course. I'll eat my own shoe if it's actually enforced against Muslims inciting violence as well.

      • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Wednesday December 16, 2015 @02:40PM (#51131545) Homepage Journal
        There is NO such thing as "Hate Speech". Only speech (if you value free speech).....

        This should be a bad idea to do this..but then again, this isn't the US, it is Germany who can do as they please there....

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by B33rNinj4 ( 666756 )
      Sadly, no. They pretty much have total immunity, because their religion is so, so "peaceful."
    • Do the same rules apply?

      German Muslim: 'Islam Is Coming And Your Daughters Will Wear The Hijab' https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

      I see your point, but is that actually hateful?

      • is anything???
        • by scsirob ( 246572 )

          Is taking someone's head off hateful? If so, is the gesture of taking someone's head off hateful? 14-year old asylum seekers are doing this today.
          Is fighting for IS hateful? If so, is supporting the atrocities committed by IS hateful? If so, is it hateful to *not* condemn those atrocities?

          I have a very strong opinion on islam. I hate islam and everything it stands for. Now what?

          As a side note, I find it interesting to see how many are responding as Anonymous Cowards. Afraid of the thought police??

    • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Wednesday December 16, 2015 @04:59PM (#51132677)

      German Muslim: 'Islam Is Coming And Your Daughters Will Wear The Hijab'

      That actually highlights a problem with any type of anti-hate legislation which I first ran across in Everquest. Sony's anti-harassment policy said you could be banned for targeting another player for harassment. Which on the face of it sounds fine.

      The problem came when a griefer parked himself in an area messing things up for other players trying to complete quests in that area. Any player. In other words, the griefer wasn't targeting any particular player, and thus his behavior was legal under the harassment policy. The people who tried to impede the griefer however (e.g. surrounding him with fat ogre characters so he couldn't move or target anything), they were targeting a specific player, and thus they got banned. The anti-harassment policy ended up protecting the harasser and banning the people trying to end the harassment.

      In the same way, the Muslim making that general statement you've quoted is not targeting a particular religion or ethnic group. And thus this new policy does not apply to his statement. People criticizing him for making such an inflammatory statement though could be (mis)construed as inciting violence against his religion or ethnicity, and their posts classified as hate speech and deleted.

      The problem crops up any time you outlaw a certain behavior only if it's targeted at certain groups or individuals. Basically all anti-hate legislation which tries to protect certain groups from "hate", rather than protecting the general population from "hate". Your laws have to be consistent whether applied to part of the population, or the entire population. Any law which tries to provide additional protection to just a part of the population basically amounts to the same thing as legislating a privileged class.

  • Chilling (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tailhook ( 98486 ) on Wednesday December 16, 2015 @01:43PM (#51130933)

    All criticism of Islam or resistance of Muslim immigration is hate speech. Modulate yourself, or else.

    • All criticism of Islam or resistance of Muslim immigration is hate speech. Modulate yourself, or else.

      I think you meant "resistance to" and "Moderate", but anyway: you're wrong.

      My country (the NL) has pretty similar laws when it comes to freedom of expression: basically the line is drawn at calling upon others to use violence against (members of) some group of society.

      If you ridicule, make a parody, or just plain state you hate some group, then free speech-wise you're in the clear. The simple fact that some part of the population may feel offended, is not enough to wield the ban ham

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        How about:

        "Wouldn't it be great if someone went out and killed $this_group_or_person?"
        "I'd appreciate it if someone went out and killed $this_group_or_person?"
        "I'd consider the murder of $this_group_or_person to be an asset to the world at large?"
        "If you kill/harm/maim $this_group_or_person you'll be lauded as a hero?"

        Note: Those are all, to my mind, containing subtle but important differences. They're all at the edge of where I'd consider MOST people, those who support such regulations, to be either on the

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      At least here in Norway I would say those tip-toeing on the line is mainly the Islamists. They're quoting selected passages from the scriptures and saying all true Muslims has a duty to obey the scriptures, but not in the same place so that it becomes a direct incitement to break the law. To use an example from the Bible (Leviticus 20:13):

      If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

      It's hard to ban quoting the book. And it's hard to ban saying every word in the Bible is God's will. But if I added 2+2 and said "All Christians have a moral duty to kill

      • In German language these is actually word for all you slashdot-nerds-turned-political-and-teology-analysts wondering how poblishing of hate speech is bad for society, The word is "Fachidiot".
        • Would you happen to be a native German speaker? You seem to imply so. I have a question: several people in those threads have been put off by the word "sedition", with all the baggage it carries, but is it a correct translation from the original German ruling? My German is too rusty for me to dig for the actual German words used, so if you could give pointers...
    • Pointing out the stupidity of the barbaric Quran is not hate speech, it is information about facts to overcome ignorance and spiritual immaturity:

      Quran (2:191-193) [quran.com]

      191: And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al- îaram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.
      192: And if they cease, then indeed, Allah is For

  • by genfail ( 777943 ) on Wednesday December 16, 2015 @01:43PM (#51130939)
    I have mixed feelings about this. Not a big fan of hate speach but I can't imagine a system of implementation that would be remotely fair and not riddled with abuse.
    • ... but I can't imagine a system of implementation that would be remotely fair ...
      Germany has anti hate speach laws since end of 1945. Installed under the supervision of the american and other allied occupying forces.
      As the laws are pretty clear, there was no case of abuse as far as I'm aware.
      How exactly would you imagine such an abuse anyway?

  • by bkr1_2k ( 237627 ) on Wednesday December 16, 2015 @01:44PM (#51130945)

    The article implies that this was already law and Germany is just extending it to the internet/social media. You can't incite violence against a group of people, simple as that. And no, it's not the same as "Islam is coming and your daughters will wear the Hijab" unless that is followed by "or die". That might be considered inciting violence but maybe not, depending upon who's judging.

    • That's the big problem : "depending on who is judging" .
      The whole "hate" concept it pretty useless anyway. it's whatever someone wants to define it as. Today's "I don't like you" is tomorrow's hate speech.

      • The whole "hate" concept it pretty useless anyway.
        Only because it is mistranslated in american news into 'hate speach'. The proper term would be "incitememt of people", degrading assault on other cultures or religions etc. e.g 'aggittation to commit murder, rape, pillaging, arson'

        it's whatever someone wants to define it as. Today's "I don't like you" is tomorrow's hate speech.
        No it isn't. It is defined in the relevant laws, and we have enough precedense to stay on track.

        • The proper term would be "incitememt of people", degrading assault on other cultures or religions etc.

          So then, saying negative things about Allah is hate speech because we know it will incite a certain number of Muslims to violence, but saying negative things about Jesus is not because it is unlikely to incite the same kind of violence?

          This is a clear example of how the law is flawed. Your speech is banned if someone will riot because of it, no matter how unjustified they are in doing so. If I can find 1000 people who will burn down a movie theater because they object to Jedi nonsense, can I get the new St

          • So then, saying negative things about Allah is hate speech because we know it will incite a certain number of Muslims to violence, but saying negative things about Jesus is not because it is unlikely to incite the same kind of violence?
            Are you argumenting for the arguments sake to drive non english speakers in a corner where they can not compete with your superior english?
            Or is it the other way around: your english comprehension skills are so bad that you come up with such an out of context answer?

            What exac

            • argumenting?

              What language is that?
              • argumenting = arguing.

                Was writing on my iPad, for some reason half the time it is not red underlining errors ...

                The language is german ... argumentieren.

              • I'd be a nickel that his English is better than your German. I know it's better than my German.

            • Are you argumenting for the arguments sake to drive non english speakers in a corner where they can not compete with your superior english?

              You provided what was supposed to be the correct translation of a German law regarding "hate speech". You used the phrase "incitement of people". Was that not correct? If not, why are you blaming me?

              What exactly is "incitememt of people" when people by themselves decide to take action?

              If "people by themselves" decide, then it isn't incitement. "Incite" is an active verb requiring an action on something. What we're talking about is NOT "people by themselves", we're talking about expressions of opinions that "incite" other people to commit violence. Like, publishing an editorial cartoon that de

              • What we're talking about is NOT "people by themselves", we're talking about expressions of opinions that "incite" other people to commit violence.
                That is exactly what we are NOT talking about as this is free speech.
                Facepalm.

                Since we know that expressing that speech today will cause a violent outcome (i.e. "incitement of people") then clearly that speech is "hate speech" according to German law
                No, it is not, as I have pointed out several times now. The 'author' of that work, speech or whatever is not active

  • Suppression (Score:5, Funny)

    by Scutter ( 18425 ) on Wednesday December 16, 2015 @01:47PM (#51130983) Journal

    Nothing encourages a free and open dialogue like stamping out opposing viewpoints.

    • If you don't graps the difference between hate speach and opposing views you should perhaps refrain yourself from posting?

      • Re:Suppression (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Scutter ( 18425 ) on Wednesday December 16, 2015 @01:55PM (#51131049) Journal

        One man's hate speech is another man's opinion. Who are you to judge which is which? That's the entire point of "free speech". It certainly seems like what is being considered "hate speech" in the context of this article has a pretty broad and over-reaching definition.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          One man's hate speech is another man's opinion.
          A sentence like: 'lets gather tomorrow in front of the refugee camp, burn it to the ground, kill every man running out and rape every woman ...' is hardly an opinion. It is hate speach, no need to argue about it.

          Who are you to judge which is which?
          I'm not judging that. A judge is judging that.

          That's the entire point of "free speech".
          That is not even true in your country. Free speach in Europe means: you can attack the government in any way you want with words.

          • by 4im ( 181450 )

            One man's hate speech is another man's opinion.
            A sentence like: 'lets gather tomorrow in front of the refugee camp, burn it to the ground, kill every man running out and rape every woman ...' is hardly an opinion. It is hate speach, no need to argue about it.

            Who are you to judge which is which?
            I'm not judging that. A judge is judging that.

            That's the entire point of "free speech".
            That is not even true in your country. Free speach in Europe means: you can attack the government in any way you want with words. And the government has no base to prosecute you for it. It does not mean that you are allowed to agitate the populace into rape and plunder and pillaging.
            You may disagree, I for my part, don't.

            It certainly seems like what is being considered "hate speech" in the context of this article has a pretty broad and over-reaching definition.
            The context of this article does not mention what hate speach is. Hint: read the relevant laws, I guess you easily find english translations.

            Thank you for this sensible view. I'd like to add that what much of what GOP presidential candidates are spewing forth, especially Trump, would be considered hate speech over here in ol'Europe - I frankly wonder whether those people would end up in prison or in an asylum.

            Let's also add that while us europeans do have an issue with hate mongers, we don't have bigoted views on such natural things as a woman's breast, which apparently maims children for life over the big pond... a wonder breastfeeding hasn't b

          • A sentence like: 'lets gather tomorrow in front of the refugee camp, burn it to the ground, kill every man running out and rape every woman ...' is hardly an opinion. It is hate speach, no need to argue about it.

            There's a crime for that already, it's called "assault". (legally defined as credible threat of violence)

            Creating new words to describe an existing crime doesn't help to stop it. However, the creation of "hate speech" does set the stage to criminalize badthink.

            So go ahead and embrace your actual position - you want thought police.

            • In your country that might be "assault".

              In our country it is "incitement of the people".

              "Hate speech" is a mistranslation you americans make. There is no new law, the law is from 1945, installed by the american occupying forces.

              Bottom line, if you don't comprehend stuff: stay out of the discussion.

              In Germany, if I take your world assault it would translate to: "it is actual violence that has happened, leading to death or injury". Obviously agitating people to commit 'assault' is not assault, and not covered

      • If you don't graps the difference between hate speach and opposing views you should perhaps refrain yourself from posting?

        That was a hateful comment/attack you made.

        See how easy it is to find yourself on the wrong side of censorship?

        • That was a hateful comment/attack you made.

          See how easy it is to find yourself on the wrong side of censorship?

          No it was not. You see now how dumb you are? It was not even insulting or in any way related to libel ... so I'm not on the wrong side of censorship. Also: forbidding hate speach and doing censoring are two different things, which anyone can tell you who lived in a society where "censoring" before something got published was mandatory.

          But good luck, your, your insights into european laws and cultur

  • OMG! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday December 16, 2015 @01:51PM (#51131013)

    That's why the twitter account of the CSU has been so quiet lately.

    (CSU: Conservative party of Bavaria)

  • Freedom of speech and all that.

    I am not a constitutional scholar or anything, but I always thought that freedom of speech extended to the point where it met my freedom to not be persecuted or slandered.

    Besides, Facebook and Google (or any company) has any obligation to provide uncensored service.

    I think that if they want to, and in the interest of fairness, can prove (to themselves) that the speech is hurtful to someone, then by all means, delete the content. I think these companies have an obligation to pr

    • by 31415926535897 ( 702314 ) on Wednesday December 16, 2015 @02:00PM (#51131103) Journal

      Why would people say that? Germany has never has true freedom of speech. Everyone seems to import the US perspective of Freedom of Speech on other countries. Germany does technically have Freedom of Expression in their Basic Law, but there are so many exceptions (like hate speech, holocaust denial and more), that it might as well not be called Freedom of Expression.

      • I just meant that is what people will say.

        I know that this is Germany we are talking about.

        And you are right, Americans export their culture all the time.

        Thanks for the great reply :)

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      my freedom to not be persecuted or slandered.

      You're *already* protected from slander. The statutes and case law on slander are well established, you could probably get an LL.M in just slander & libel.

      I'm curious how you can be "persecuted" by speech, though. Persecution ultimately implies harm through violence, discriminatory social practices in hiring, housing or resource allocation or some other means of a tangible nature.

      Mere speech doesn't seem capable of persecuting you because it has no tangible element to it. It requires an actual physic

  • If you didn't see the relevant South Park episode, that's why you don't get the title.
  • Do they:

    1) Make it not visible within Germany?

    2)Delete it on versions of websites popular/based/focused on in Germany, but leaving it visible on similar websites popular in other countries?

    3) Delete it if it originates in Germany?

    These things are important, it affects whether Germany et. al.'s laws are affecting non-Germans. #1 is the most fair to non-germans but isn't really deleting anything, #3 may technically comply but leave Germany with many issues - chief among them watching citizens from other

  • I hope at the very least they replace the posts with a message about government censorship.

  • As a staunch atheist, I make sure I don't point my finger at people, only at religion, but I know full well that my posts irritate some people. My posts generate a lot of cognitive dissonance in religious, so I'm perceived as dangerous, even "hateful". Just see the reaction to #exMuslimBecause to see the kind of silly over-reaction and bluster that such posts can produce by the detractors.

  • by Theovon ( 109752 ) on Wednesday December 16, 2015 @02:24PM (#51131383)

    1000 years ago, Christians were roaming the world, killing non-believers. How is this a whole lot different? Christopher Hitchens (may he rest in peace) would go on and on about the evils of religion. But the truth is that religion only dictates the form of the assholery. If people didn’t have the religion, they’d find some other ideoligical reason to go around killing people they disagree with.

    I’m not an expert in Islam. People tell me that there are lots of “kill the infidel” parts, and they’re later in the Qur’an, so they supercede peaceful stuff towards the beginning. You can find lots of violence in the Hebrew bible too. In all cases, I think it’s a matter of people cherry-picking the parts of their religious texts that support their idiosyncrasies and using that as justification. So you’re an asshole because God said to be? No. You’re an asshole. And you use your God to justify the shit you want to do.

    There aren’t more assholes in the middle east, though. Most people there are relatively poor. However, there are oil barrons who want to control economies, and they find their religion as a convenient vehicle. MAYBE it’s easier to recruit and rile up your troops if you play on their religion, and MAYBE if you didn’t have that religion, it might be harder to do this. But the fact is, millions of people want to leave Syria to get away from ISIS. Those people are primarily Muslim too, but they just want to live in peace.

    We taught to think of Hinduism as one of those inherently non-violent religions. But did you know that there are Hindu fundamentalists who feel inclined to resort to voilence over their beliefs? There are. Were some people so inclined, I’m sure they could twist Hinduism around to motivate people into violence.

    The main reason that Christians and Jews and many other religious people are no longer violent (en masse anyhow) is because the violence we’re seeing now with Islam already happened with those other religions. The maintream groups have been there and done that and have matured past it. Perhaps in another 500 years, Islam will mature (perhaps through a lot of natural selection) to the point where it becomes an inherently peaceful religion.

    We already have Islamic countries that have developed some maturity. Jordan is a great example. Their law is inherently Shari’a, which I wouldn’t want to live under, but it is tempered. For instance, sodomy was made legal in 1951. They don’t embrace it, but it’s not illegal, so you can’t be jailed for it. Basically private consential sex acts are not under the jurisdiction of the government. Moreover, if a family kills one of their kin for “shaming” them in this way or other, that death is considered murder and will be prosecuted like any other. There is maturity in separating the “moral” from the “legal” where they consider something to be immoral but do not take it upon themselves to punish all whom they consider sinners. I’m not saying this is perfect or anything, but Jordan is one of the safest countries to visit in the middle east, yet it is a solidly Islamic country. Why? Because their government is comprised of people who aren’t assholes (irrespective of their religious beliefs).

    • Did you really just go "1000 years ago" in a current events discussion? Christians and Jews had reformations that excluded the radical practices that include acts of law. (aka killing/stoning/etc). Islam has been going the other way, pushing oppressive additions. Some of the more extreme arab states rewrite the quran to include radical beliefs and practices.

      So yes, while some islamic countries practice the basic islamic religion they all still share the basic moral and legal actions. Its still being ta

    • Jordan is a great example.

      Jordan is a constitutional monarchy in which the King has very broad executive and legislative power. Any form of popular representation is somewhat of a facade....quite a few of their representatives are not elected by the populace but are appointed by the King, and there are actually quotas for the number of women and Christians that can serve in their congress. The Prime Minister, Cabinet, and regional governors are all appointed by the King. It's a borderline dictatorship, which is really the only th

    • 1000 years ago, Christians were roaming the world, killing non-believers.

      Right now, in certain parts of the world, this is happening.

      Arguably worse, certain sects of Christianity are killing other Christians.

      The example that most westerners would be familiar with would be Protestant vs Catholic in Ireland.

      American political pundits and politicians still actively call for religiously-based wars and killings.

    • by SillyHamster ( 538384 ) on Wednesday December 16, 2015 @04:12PM (#51132287)

      1000 years ago, Christians were roaming the world, killing non-believers. How is this a whole lot different?

      Which Christians are you talking about?

      Looking at the history of Islam and Europe [thelatinlibrary.com], 1000 years ago ...

      • 1012: Caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, founder of the Druze sect and sixth Fatimid Caliph in Egypt, orders the destruction of all Christian and Jewish houses of worship in his lands.
      • 1012: Berber forces capture Cordova and order that half the population be executed.
      • 1013: Jews are expelled from the Umayyad Caliphate of Cordova, then ruled by Sulaimann.
      • 1015: Arab Muslim forces conquer Sardinia.

      The first Crusades don't happen until almost 100 years later, in 1096, after yet more Islamic conquest and expansion.

      So 1000 years ago, Muslims were conquering nations and killing unbelievers. Why are you downplaying Islamic violence by creating a false equivalence with Christians?

    • The main reason that Christians and Jews and many other religious people are no longer violent (en masse anyhow) is because the violence we’re seeing now with Islam already happened with those other religions. The maintream groups have been there and done that and have matured past it. Perhaps in another 500 years, Islam will mature (perhaps through a lot of natural selection) to the point where it becomes an inherently peaceful religion.

      So the Crusades had nothing to do with Muslim Conquests [wikipedia.org]?

  • trying to define where earth's atmosphere ends and space starts.

    Interpreting the actual intent of a person, from a sentence he/she wrote, is quite challenging.
    Especially if you are using a language like English. Not convinced? read this one -> "Is the duck ready to eat?"

    On the other end, things can be taken out of context. Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses is a prime example, where all book burners read only certain passages, not the entire novel.

  • New Motto
    "We didn't learn from past fascism, so here we go repeating it"

  • Can the PC stupidity just go away? PC Principle is alive and well, and spreading stupidity and dividing lines across the country. Privilege check anyone?
  • If so, is the USA any better than Germany?

    North Carolina has just enacted ag-gag laws.

    A misguided state law punishing those who publicly expose animal cruelty and unsafe working conditions is set to take effect on New Year’s Day. Lawmakers overrode Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto of the N.C. Property Protection Act June 3.

    Supporters say the law is needed to shield businesses from corporate espionage, intellectual property theft and exploitation. As we’ve said in this space before, that rationale i

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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