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Police raid homes over Facebook hate speech

Forty cases have been brought over posting xenophobic, anti-Semitic or other extremist right-wing content to a private Facebook group.

German police raided about 60 people’s houses on Wednesday, accusing most of the suspects of posting xenophobic, anti-Semitic or other extremist right-wing content to a private Facebook group.

The country’s federal police agency – the Bundeskriminalamt, or BKA – said in a press release that it was the first nationwide use of police force to combat hate speech on the internet.

Facebook, along with Twitter and Google/YouTube, have come under fire in Germany for letting hate speech fester on their platforms.

In December, the trio of internet giants agreed with Germany and pledged to delete hate speech from their services within 24 hours to help fight a rising tide of online racism in the wake of the country’s influx of refugees.

Facebook, for one, for months had been laying the groundwork to make 24-hour take-down a reality.

Under pressure from Germany, the company launched a hate-speech task force in September to deal with anti-refugee posts.

In fact, before it even sat down with German Justice Minister Heiko Maas in September, the company had agreed to do three things in the wake of the previous month’s anti-immigration violence.

Namely, Facebook promised to:

  • Partner with FSM, a German self-regulatory group of multimedia service providers.
  • Start the hate speech task force, working with nonprofits, companies, and government officials, including Maas.
  • Establish a campaign to promote “counter speech” in Germany, drawing in experts from the UK and Scandinavia to develop ways to combat racism and xenophobia through discussions on social media.

Facebook, along with Twitter and YouTube, are also now facing legal action in France over hate speech.

The BKA said that Wednesday’s raids in Germany were meant to confront what it calls a substantial rise in “verbal radicalism” and related offenses.

Between July and November 2015, hate speech has been rampant in a secret Facebook group, the BKA said.

Beyond anti-Semitic and xenophobic content, the hate speech has included glorification of Nazism.

The BKA says that the offenses in question are against two paragraphs in Germany’s Criminal code: paragraph 86a, which regulates symbols of unconstitutional organizations, such as the Swastika, and paragraph 130, which criminalizes denial of the Holocaust.

Police searched the homes of about 40 accused people.

BKA President Holger Münch said in the statement that the hateful words have to be suppressed:

[Such words] must not poison the social climate.

When hate speech is allowed to flourish in social networks, it foments radicalization, he said.

That, in turn, often results in attacks on refugee shelters.

According to RT, German police have recorded 45 cases of arson at refugee centers across the country since the start of 2016.


Do they differentiate between Hate speech, and Anti-criminal speech (rapist/politicians)? or is it what ever the political flavor they are pushing that day?


Germany’s entering thought-crime territory here. Censoring people will never solve the issue, just look at China. Silencing people won’t silence their ideas, that kind of thinking I’d expect from a dictatorship or a fascist state but not a supposedly democratic one.


It has been illegal in Germany to deny the holocaust ever since World War 2. But there are still a few nutcases who try it on.


Speaking the truth is qualified as “hate speech”. Love for your own people, own race, and love for National Socialism also qualified as “hate speech”. Wait….there’s no freedom of speech at all? No surprise folks, they forced a false “democracy” upon us for decades and their agenda is visible for the people now. Mostly because of the internet and Social Media, so this raid was to be expected. ****Waiting for some programmed nutcase to storm thru my door****


We can express love for our own nation or our kith and kin. That is called patriotism. But if we express hatred for others, purely on grounds of their nationality or race, that is called nationalism or racial provocation, which can lead to conflict and violence. We may have freedom of speech, but it is irresponsible to insult people on the sole grounds of their ethnicity.


Do these people not understand they’re being taken over by communists? Or do they just think its “really cool”?


You said “…or other extremist right-wing content…” Hate is not right-wing.


I was going to make the same comment. And I’ll add that the Nazi party is a SOCIALIST party, and socialism is a no-longer-considered-extreme LEFT-wing position.


Merkel has plunged the entirety of Europe into a very dark place. The third time in a century that Germany has done this. The German people need to make a stand and get rid of her before its too late.


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