|Facebook Ceo Zuckerberg and German Chancellor discussing censorship of hate-posts on facebook / Photo credit: dpa|
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Facebook CEO Zuckerberg promises to take stronger actions against hate-posts
After being confronted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is willing to tightens Facebook censorship policy regarding recent anti-immigrant posts on German Facebook. But Publicist Christoph Kappes is very critical of this issue.
In the past weeks Europe has been confronted with a great influx of refugees. Germany has been in particular the main destination for refugees looking for a better life. Hence, the country has been struggling with the situation and has currently stated that it might have reached its limits concerning sheltering refugees.
Furthermore, there has been strong anti-sentiments towards refugees, especially from Syria among the German population, resulting in escalating violence and racist content published on social media platforms, specifically on German Facebook. In the past many users have been complaining that Facebook did not react to any of the comments or posts they reported which contained anti-immigrant content. Stating that the reported content was indeed tested, but no violation of the social network’s „Community Standards“ was found, Facebook refused to delete any content. Thus German Chancellor Angela Merkel has asked Facebook to provide stronger actions against such comments. The Chancellor supports the demand of the German Minister of Justice Heiko Maas who urged Facebook in a letter to redeem its promise deleting all hate posts against any national and religious affiliations. Recently Chancellor Angela Merkel and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg have met during the United Nations Development Summit where Merkel confronted Zuckerberg with the current issue of censorship regarding hate-posts. The conversation was caught on a hot mic. Zuckerberg assured Merkel that Facebook would work on her concern since the social network claimed earlier that it was not a place for racism.
If Facebook provides a stricter censorship policy deleting more content as requested by the German Minister of Justice, the question arises to what extent Facebook remains a neutral platform granting its users sufficient freedom of expression. According to publicist Christoph Kappes, urging Facebook to decide on its own which content not only violates Community Standards but also the law, the German Minister of Justice imposes duties of the police on the social network. Kappes regards this to be very critical since Facebook as a private company shouldn’t be performing such actions. Hence, it is important to determine the level of responsibility of each the government and the providers of social networks concerning violations.