German Minister Seeks Jail Time, Fines In Criminal Crackdown Against Facebook "Fake News"

Tyler Durden's picture

With Facebook having announced last week the launch of measure to flag and eliminate fake news from appearing on its website, Germany does not think the process is fast enough, and according to Germany's Justice Minister Heiko Maas, German judges and state prosecutors need to crack down straight away on fake news disseminated through social media platforms such as Facebook. Interviewed by Bild am Sontag, Maas, a Social Democrat in conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition, has repeatedly warned the U.S. technology company to respect laws against defamation in Germany that are more rigid than in the United States and added that the newspaper the principle of free speech does not protect against slander.

Germany's Justice Minister Heiko Maas

"Defamation and malicious gossip are not covered under freedom of speech," Maas said cited by Reuters, just days after other top government officials called for legislation to tackle "hate speech" and fake news on Facebook and other social media platforms. He added that the government is keeping close tabs on how efficiently Facebook removes illegal content.  If removal rates fail to grow, “urgent legal consequences” could follow.

Urging a criminal crackdown, the Justice Minister said "authorities must prosecute [hate speech], even on the internet," noting that offenders could face up to five years in jail. "Anyone who tries to manipulate the political discussion with lies needs to be aware (of the consequences)."

“We expect significant improvements in Facebook’s removal practice. The
standard for removals must be German law
,” Maas told Sueddeutsche
Zeitung on Friday.

Under German law, which states that spreading information that encourages violence against people due to their ethnic or religious background, hate speech - including online comments - is punishable by up to three years in jail. Yet while more than 218,000 cases involving insults were filed with prosecutors in 2015 under Germany's strict libel and slander laws, few internet cases were prosecuted.

Maas said he wants to change that: "We need to fully utilize all the legal authority at our disposal," he said.

Earlier in the week, the parliamentary chairman of Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD), Thomas Oppermann, asserted that social media giants like Facebook should be required to remove fake news and illegal posts within 24 hours or face fines up to €500,000 ($522,000). “Facebook has not used the opportunity to effectively regulate the issue of complaint management itself,” Oppermann said in an interview with Der Spiegel on Friday. Therefore, “market dominating platforms like Facebook will be legally required to build a legal protection office in Germany, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” he added.

As reported previously, Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) party has acknowledged in a statement that, while social media platforms offer “completely new possibilities of political communication,” they also harbor some dangers. The CDU claimed on Friday that Facebook and other social media sites have increasingly become platforms for spreading ‘fake news’ and hate messages, citing manipulation of political discussions on the web as one of the greatest dangers. “Companies are responsible for what happens on their platforms. That is why they have to react,” Volker Kauder, a senior CDU member, noted.

Proposed legislation would oblige social media platforms to set up offices to respond to complaints from people affected by hateful messages. “High penalties” would await companies that fail to meet their responsibilities, he warned. On Thursday, Facebook said in a statement that, although it believes in “giving people a voice,” it is currently working on measures to prevent fake news from spreading on the platform, including “several ways to make it easier to report a hoax if you see one on Facebook.”

Escalating the crackdown against the social network, last week the International Auschwitz Committee accused Facebook of “poisoning the societal climate” in Germany and overseas, warning that the social media giant’s soft treatment and arrogance towards online hate speech is “increasingly intolerable and dangerous.” Facebook “continues to massively participate in the poisoning of the social climate, not only in Germany,” said Christoph Heubner, executive vice president of the International Auschwitz Committee (IAC), as quoted by German news agencies.“

"Obviously, the responsible persons at Facebook neither take the [German] justice minister nor the German legislator seriously,” he added.

* * *

Ultimately, the reason behind the German urgency to crack down on Facebook likely stems from the German politicians' fear that hate speech and ‘fake news’ could influence public opinion ahead of the federal elections next year, with far-right parties gaining momentum on growing discontent with Angela Merkel’s open-door refugee policy.

Fears of "fake news" ahead of the election have increased after the head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency, Hans-Georg Maassen, reported a rise in Russian propaganda and disinformation campaigns aimed at destabilizing German society.  As reported last week, "German Politicians Are Worried About "Striking Increase" In Russian Propaganda And Fake News," and now that Russians have become the global scapegoat (and even Britain has joined in) for any potential political upheavals, it is reasonable that Germany will use US concerns about Russian interference to starwman potential Russian interference ahead of the 2017 elections, especially if the result is an "unexpected" one.

"Facebook is earning an awful lot of money with fake news," Maas told Bild am Sonntag. "A company that earns billions from the internet also has a social responsibility. Prosecutable defamation must be deleted immediately, once reported. It needs to be made easier for users to report fake news."

Which, "under pressure" from politicians, is precisely what Facebook has started, in a move that while some applaud, others see a major threat to freedom of speech around the globe as Facebook, and its "fact checkers", are gradually becoming the de facto arbiters of what is and isn't news in a process that, as presented, provides no checks and balances to "check the fact checkers."

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peddling-fiction's picture

Heiko, your name is on a special list.

Luc X. Ifer's picture

The fist in the mouth. The first sign of a functional dictatorship.

Arnold's picture

Foot in mouth, Yakov, foot in mouth.

macholatte's picture


OT:    ZH Compromised or Corrupted?
Apparently my comment under the PCR article has been expunged as well as the comments I was responding to and comments of several other people. Members should go back to that article and look to see if your comments were deleted.
Was in a simple glitch or was it the Thought Police Cleaning Crew?


Jim in MN's picture

Let's see if 'they' delete this:

The ONLY source on the so-called 'Russian hacks' is CIA LEAKS.

NO official information even from the CIA.
NONE from the FBI (it was the CIA LEAKING its own, internal staff memo that got that headline)
NONE from the 17 official intelligence agencies.


Insiders gave WikiLeaks the 'stuff'. Assange said it again on Friday.

Idiots. Fake news like candy canes.

a Smudge by any other name's picture

As ye censor so shall ye be censored.

CheapBastard's picture

Another traitor who wants to call out the water canons on German patriots instead of the vicious invaders.

FlipFlop's picture

Germans are nazis after all? This is nazi tactic, right?

J S Bach's picture

The Stasi still lives.  May the traitors against truth rot in hell.

yovatti's picture
yovatti (not verified) J S Bach Dec 18, 2016 2:39 PM

This guy would have made an excellent Nazi. He so good at showing fervent devotion to an ideology with no sense of limits or perspective at all.

The orders may change, but the need to follow orders is apparently a constant.

Bunga Bunga's picture

Maas is cooperating with former stalinist and Stasi agent Anetta Kahane, who brought countless people into trouble in East Germany. Kahane is now boss of a taxpayer funded organisation blacklisting critical blogs as Nazi propaganda sites.

This guy is a shame for Germany, he will be brought to justice one day.

jaxville's picture

  The German courts routinely say that "truth" is not an issue when persecution of those who question the holocaust is taking place.  How can a court system that holds that view ever claim any legitimacy in prosecution of "false" news providers?

  Germany desperately needs some REAL National Socialists to take out the trash.

caconhma's picture

NAZI were German patriots.

Today Germans are more like GDR's secret police STASI created by Soviets to control German population in Soviet occupied zones. 

By the way, Merkel was one of STASI's informants. Who is his bitch working for now?

HRH Feant's picture
HRH Feant (not verified) caconhma Dec 18, 2016 6:32 PM

Good question. Merkel was brainwashed young, based on her actions, she is still a fucking communist bitch and nothing but a hack and a tool.

The fucking East Germans used to shoot people trying to escape over the Berlin Wall. Now? Either agree with them or you will find your life ruined and end up in a cage. Same difference as shooting you on sight. Your life is ruined.

Zuckerberg is nothing more than a technocrat and fucking modern-day Stasi. I hate that bastard. Fuck off Fauxbook. Fuck off and die. Just like My Space. Does anyone under the age of 21 remember My Space? Just proved my point.

Alex was on fire in his first hour today. Great show. Other sites have been attacked, too.

If you have not watched the movie, "The Lives of Others, " I cannot recommend it highly enough. Terrifying. Imagine what they can do with modern technology? That idea is enough to send ice through my blood.

Stuck on Zero's picture

All news is put on trial in front of a jury of the people. If it is fake the Author gets shamed. If it is true the Author is honored.  Government does not need to get into the matter.

Whoa Dammit's picture

How much traffic & ad revenue will Facebook generate if the only safe topic is cats ? Or is even that verboten if someone makes a snarky comment about someone else's cat photo?

jaxville's picture

 Black cats are worth less than white ones. 

InTheLandOfTheBlind's picture

Were your replies after the serial spammers? 

Oldwood's picture

Yes, mine as well. Noticed the bot posts were gone and assumed many of us along with him.

Xena fobe's picture

Probably a technical glitch.  I had trouble posting this morning.  But the posts that got through were way worse than mine. 

BabaLooey's picture

Simply another of the MYRIAD of reasons NEVER to use Fartook - ever.

Arnold's picture

Time to send our network chiefs on a European vacation.

Urban Redneck's picture

His actual name isn't Heiko, it Hymie (short for Hyporcrite). 

We're coming up on the one year anniversary of the biggest fake news effort in Germany since Operation Gladio, and Hymie still hasn't charged the the management teams of der Spiegel and their ilk with spreading "Fake News".  If he moves to charge anyone before bringing charges against establishment German media, then I couldn't blame the victims of Hymie's abuse of office if they struck out at his wife and children.

balz's picture

I miss Hitler.

Freddie's picture

The Germans have been f'ed over for hundreds of years by the same banksters.  The Same people who back the Bolshviks who murdered 25 million Russian Christians.  Endless bankster wars, guilt trips over fiction and a smoke screen to cover up the genocide in Russia.

The Germans need to arrest these monsters now.  Justice minister? F him!

Laddie's picture

Freddie the BIG LIES told about this man are still being indoctrinated in American school children and through the media. The REAL Hitler was quite a different man, and as you will note below he was very pragmatic and NOT the genocidal maniac portrayed:

I wonder how long information such as this will be legal in the USSA? You see "hate speech" = TRUTH.

The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 291, May 2003 Hitler's Forgotten Library: The Man, His Books, and His Search for God Timothy W. Ryback

In one reference Mattern and Gassert note correctly that the Hitler Library contains two identical copies of Paul de Lagarde's German Essays, but they don't mention marginalia, despite the fact that in one volume fifty-eight pages have penciled intrusions -- the first on page 16, the last on page 370. Given that Lagarde belongs to a circle of nineteenth-century German nationalist writers who are believed to have had a formative influence on Hitler's anti-Semitism, the marked passages are certainly worth noting.

In an essay called "The Current Tasks of German Politics," Lagarde anticipates the emergence of a "singular man with the abilities and energy" to unite the German peoples, and calls for the "relocation of the Polish and Austrian Jews to Palestine." This latter phrase has been underlined and flagged with two bold strikes in the margin.

One leather-bound tome -- with WORTE CHRISTI, or "Words of Christ," embossed in gold on the cover -- was well worn, the silky, supple leather peeling upward in gentle curls along the edges. Human hands had obviously spent a lot of time with this book. The inside cover bore a dedication:

"To our beloved Führer with gratitude and profound respect, Clara von Behl, born von Jansen von den Osten. Christmas 1935."

Worte Christi was so fragile that when the attendant brought it to me, he placed it on a red-velvet pad in a wooden reading stand, a beautifully finished oak contraption with two supports that could be adjusted with small brass pegs to fit the dimensions of the book. No more than a foot wide and eighteen inches long, the stand had a sacred air, as if it belonged on an altar.

I reviewed the table of contents -- "Belief and Prayer," "God and the Kingdom of God," "Priests and Their Religious Practices," "The World and Its People" -- and skimmed the introduction; then I scanned the book for marginalia that might suggest a close study of the text. A white-silk bookmark, preserved in its original perfection between pages 22 and 23 (only the portion exposed to the air had deteriorated), lay across a description of the Last Supper as related by Saint John. A series of pages that followed contained only a single aphorism each: "Believe in God" (page 31), "Have no fear, just believe" (page 52), "If you believe, anything is possible" (page 53), and so on, all the way to page 95, which offers the solemn wisdom "Many are called but few are chosen."

On page 241 appears the passage "You should love God, your Lord, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your spirit: this is the foremost and greatest commandment. Another is equally important: Love your neighbor as you would love yourself." Beside this passage is one brief penciled line, the only mark in the entire book.

Given Hitler's legendary disdain for organized religion in general and Christianity in particular, I didn't expect him to have devoted much time to the teachings of Christ, let alone to have marked this quintessential Christian virtue.

Laddie's picture

You know the German embassy in Austria just changed the name of Christmas Carols to WINTER Carols.

We have heard about Hitler only from the Tribe who instigated a WAR on Germany. The NY Times and the whole controlled media lauded a book by Theodore Kaufman authored before the US entered the war entitled GERMANY MUST PERISH!

My Political Testament
- Hitler's final writing before his death, explaining the origins of the war and Germany's attempt to avoid it.

"More than thirty years have passed since 1914 when I made my modest contribution as a volunteer in the First World War, which was forced upon the Reich.

In these three decades love and loyalty to my people have guided all my thoughts, actions and my life. They gave me the strength to make the most difficult decisions ever to confront mortal man. In these three decades I have spent my strength and my health.

It is untrue that I or anyone else in Germany wanted war in 1939. It was wanted and provoked solely by international statesmen either of Jewish origin or working for Jewish interests. I have made too many offers for the limitation and control of armaments, which posterity will not be cowardly enough always to disregard, for responsibility for the outbreak of this war to be placed on me. Nor have I ever wished that, after the appalling First World War, there would ever be a second against either England or America. Centuries will go by, but from the ruins of our towns and monuments the hatred of those ultimately responsible will always grow anew against the people whom we have to thank for all this: international Jewry and its henchmen."

Munich, Gathering of the SA -- Speech of November 9, 1921
On November 9, 1921--just five days after the Battle of the Hall (Saalschlacht) where fewer than fifty SA Men had beaten back more than 400 communists and Jews who had tried to disrupt Hitler's speech in the Festival Hall of the Hofbrauhaus--Adolf Hitler addressed a gathering of SA Men. The following is what he told them:

For us there are only two possibilities: either we remain German or we come under the thumb of the Jews. This latter must not occur; even if we are small, we are a force. A well-organized group can conquer a strong enemy. If you stick close together and keep bringing in new people, we will be victorious over the Jews.

The English-language edition of 1927, translated from German by Capel Pownall. After Germany's defeat in 1945, this book was banned by the Allied occupation authorities, and nearly all copies were destroyed.

Torah Study with Richard Spencer Spencer a leader in the Alt Right when confronted during his talk at Texas A&M earlier this month.

rwe2late's picture

Hitler's attempt to portray himself as a peacenik is deceitful.

 Hitler definitely wanted, planned, and waged an aggressive war against the Soviet Union

(and the Slavs) for Lebensraum and resources.


As for 'America", although Roosevelt

was waging an undeclared sea war against Germany,

Hitler chose to escalate it by officially declaring war when he did not have to.

It is extremely questionable whether the US public would have endorsed an open official

war agaisnt Germany had Hitler not declared war first.


France, after WW1, wanted to stay behind the Maginot defenses.

England did not have the manpower or desire to fight a land war against Germany.

Did Germany really have to invade neutral Belgium (again) and provoke international outrage?

We will never know the 'what ifs'.

But the evidence is clear that Hitler planned and waged aggressive wars.




balz's picture

Versailles treaty was unacceptable. The ruling elites wanted to show Germany they were in charges. That's why WW2 happened.

rwe2late's picture


Hitler was not entirely responsible for WW2. Neither was the Versailles treaty,which certainly played a role in the rise of the NAZIs and German resentment. There is plenty of historical fault-finding to go around. The US & English financiers of Hitler. The post war Western hostility and invasions of Russia which generated xenophobia and extremism. Racist ideology in England and the apartheid USA. Many factors played a part.

All the war criminals should have been held to account.

All of us should have learned from the past misdeeds, follies, and delusions of others.

Unfortunately, there is a big gap between "should have" and just plain "have".


robobbob's picture

Hitler only envisioned war against the east and viewed himself as protector of an enfeebled west against the degradation of communism and racial degenerates. Hitler attacked Poland knowing that it had been pledged protection from the allies, but technically, England and France were the ones to declare war on Germany when Hitler failed to accept their ultimatum to cease action against Poland.

Germany was under obligation to follow suite when its treaty partner Japan, who Hitler had personally offered to support if hostilities broke out, opened up on the US.

I dont know if technicalities make a difference, but awash in a sea of rewritten history and outright lies, lets try and keep an eye on the truth.

rwe2late's picture

 Whatever he

"envisioned" or hoped for which would be convenient for his plans,

he planned and waged aggressive war against the "east", and neutral Belgium and Netherlands.


He had no obligation to decare war against the USA.

His motivation was instead based on the over-confident assurances he got

from his naval advisors, that unrestricted sub warfare would bring England to its knees,

and make the USA unable to effectively participate.

The ship-building capacity of the USA was underestimated. Coupled with that ,

the obvious and wrong conclusion was drawn that the US would concentrate on Japan first,

and transfer naval assets to the Pacific.

rwe2late's picture

 as for the


there are always facetious self-serving excuses made for

aggression, conquest, pillage, and exploitation.

Formerly for Spain, it was to protect and spread the "true" religion.

For England, it was usually "civilization".

For the USA, it is usually "freedom".

For Hitler, it was what he imagined to be a "master race".


Look past all the excuses of arrogance, hubris, ethnocentrism, delusions of grandeur,

and xenophobia

and instead focus on the base actions and self-serving motives.


Panic Mode's picture

I bet those ministers do.

VonPumperDic's picture



Arrest the Punk in a T-Shirt exiting a Citation 5

Occams_Chainsaw's picture

Man these fascist fuckers are going to ride this 'fake news' shit into the ground.

gatorengineer's picture

comming soon to a banana republic near you....  Once they realize that they cant stop it they will shut it down (internet).....

The pieces have all quietly been put in place.  Hedge Accordingly.

dark fiber's picture

A Social Democrat.  How typical of a bunch of Marxists who don't even have the balls to admit they are Marxists.

NurseRatched's picture

Even though the globalist-statists are losing badly in the recent elections, they want to run the whole show.

And nothing is bigger on their agenda than climate change regulations. They won't mind if they are not in power if their agenda is still carried out. Thus, "fake news" is all about anyone who questions the whole man-made global warming nonsense. It will be a world-wide crime to question the lie of man-made global warming.

buzzsaw99's picture

they are worse than stalin and mao put together about that global warming crap

Yukon Cornholius's picture

Climate science is about as accurate as holocaust history...meaning not very, and thus a crime to question.

buzzsaw99's picture

i heard denying the halocaust is a crime over there. is denying the moon landing a crime too? what about the jfk assassination?

VIS MAIOR's picture

germans fuckhead, nazis again

buzzsaw99's picture

merkel luvs muzzies more than her own people

Overdrawn's picture

I don't think sudden crackdown by everythig Establishment is about the migrans.  I think they are trying to stop public debate about pizza's and hotdogs.    Seems strange thie crackdown on 'fake news' and 'free speech' came after the release of the Podesta emails.

buzzsaw99's picture

makes sense

your uncle molests collies. [/Ty Webb, Caddyshack]

Overdrawn's picture

Maybe the politicians should face fines and imprisonment for introducing policies which harm their citizens and their country.   

Maybe the politicians should crack down on the additional crime their policies have caused.

Maybe the politicians should stop being so generous with taxpayers money, giving it out freely to those who haven't contributed.

Maybe such politicians should start looking for another job, because it's highly unlikely they will be re-elected next year.

small axe's picture

sure is a smug little fascist ... needs the brownshirt and jackboots to complete his look

Kagemusho's picture

Reinhard Heydrich, re-incarnated.

Devotional's picture

Heiko Maas is a Jew ...

Notice the trend? ;)