Facebook's Censorship In Germany

Submitted by Stefan Frank of the Gatestone Institute

  • Marlene Weise was banned from Facebook for 30 days, for posting a set of two pictures: One showed the Iranian women's national volleyball team from the 1970s, wearing t-shirts and shorts; the other, the current Iranian team, wearing hijabs and clothes that cover arms and legs. 
  • "Does a law- and contract-abiding user have to acquiesce to companies like Facebook or Twitter deleting his content or banning him for it? The ruling is an important stage victory for the freedom of speech." — Joachim Nikolaus Steinhöfel, attorney and anti-censorship activist.

A court in Berlin has issued a temporary restraining order against Facebook. Under the threat of a fine of 250,000 euros (roughly $300,000 USD) or a jail term, Facebook was obliged to restore a user's comment that it had deleted. Moreover, the ruling prohibited the company from banning the user because of this comment.

This is the first time a German court has dealt with the consequences of Germany's internet censorship law, which came into effect on October 1, 2017. The law stipulates that social media companies have to delete or block "apparent" criminal offenses, such as libel, slander, defamation or incitement, within 24 hours of receipt of a user complaint.

As many critics pointed out, this state censorship makes freedom of speech subject to the arbitrary decisions of corporate entities that are likely to censor more than absolutely necessary, rather than risk a crushing fine of up to 50 million euros ($65 million USD). According to a newspaper report, Facebook's censors have just ten seconds to decide whether to delete a comment or not.

The case with which the court in Berlin had to deal was that on January 8, 2018, the Swiss daily Basler Zeitung posted an article with the title "Viktor Orban speaks of Muslim 'invasion'" on its Facebook site. The blurb read:

"Viktor Orban wonders how in a country like Germany... chaos, anarchy and illegal crossing of borders can be celebrated as something good."

Facebook user Gabor B. posted a comment:

"Germans are becoming increasingly stupid. No wonder, since the left-wing media litters them every day with fake news about 'skilled workers,' declining unemployment figures or Trump."

This comment quickly received the most "likes", until Facebook deleted it, due to an alleged infringement of Facebook's "community standards." In addition, Gabor B. was banned from Facebook for 30 days.

"One may share the commenter's opinion or may deem it polemic or unobjective", Gabor B.'s attorney Joachim Nikolaus Steinhöfel told Gatestone. "The important thing is: The comment is covered by the right to freedom of speech." He added that before going to court, his law office had sent a written warning to Facebook.

"Facebook partly gave in and lifted the ban but did not restore the comment. Facebook's lawyers notified us that 'a thorough reexamination came to the result that the community standards had been applied correctly and that therefore the content could not be restored' -- an assessment we cannot share."

Steinhöfel, besides being a lawyer, is a renowned journalist, blogger and anti-censorship activist. He runs a website where he has documented countless cases in which Facebook deleted content or banned users; sometimes both. Facebook apparently often bans users because of comments that are critical of mass immigration or certain aspects of Islamic culture. For example, in March 2018, Frank Bormann was banned after he had quipped: "Muslim men are taking a second wife. To finance their lives, Germans are taking a second job."

Sometimes, Facebook seems to object even to implicit criticism of terror organizations. In April 2018, Christian Horst was banned for three days after he had posted a picture of members of the Palestinian terror organization DFLP delivering the Hitler salute.

Sometimes, users are banned for no apparent reason at all. In March 2018, Marlene Weise was banned from Facebook for 30 days, for posting a set of two pictures: One showed the Iranian women's national volleyball team from the 1970s, wearing t-shirts and shorts; the other, the current Iranian team, wearing hijabs and clothes that cover arms and legs.

Steinhöfel explains that courts usually do not give reasons for a restraining order. The court could, however, grant a claim if the deleted content in question was deemed lawful and legitimate after all:

"This is a landmark decision and the first such court ruling in Germany... Eventually, users can act against the untransparent business practices of a corporation that assumes its responsibility as if it were dealing with second-hand bicycles."

Steinhöfel says that, given Facebook's dominant market position, the outcome of this legal battle will have far-reaching repercussions for communicating and exchanging opinions on social media: "Does a law and contract-abiding user have to acquiesce to companies like Facebook or Twitter deleting his content or banning him for it? The ruling is an important stage victory for the freedom of speech."

Comments

911bodysnatchers322 GoFuqYourself Mon, 04/30/2018 - 03:40 Permalink

congratulations, gofuqyourself! You've achieved the 'order of abdulaziz' achievment.  You will now join the ranks of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Donald Trump as a recipient of this Saudi monarchic knighthood.  With your order of abdulaziz medal, you are now a certified saudi vendor for selling arms of value up to 3.3B--legal or otherwise--while receiving the same in kind in illegal drugs to import back to your country, with your selection of war slaves to run your own self-branded distribution network in your country of origin.  Congratulations again and welcome to the saudi club!

In reply to by GoFuqYourself

CuttingEdge 911bodysnatchers322 Mon, 04/30/2018 - 03:47 Permalink

Islam is a fascist ideology.

Agreed, and probably (at a stretch) an appropriate one only for inbred fly-infested shitholes that haven't developed intellectually for a thousand years (see inbred + Islam above).

Causation.

 

But it's the treasonous fuckers on our "side" shipping it in that you should be more concerned about. Be they corporate (Zuckerfuck, Bezos, Schmidt), government (too many to mention) or just run-of-the-mill cunts like Soros.

They all have a "righteous" tag they hide behind, which must act as a "conscience ward" - enabling them to commit the most savage cuntery we now all see in the public domain (though not on the MSM). Progressivism.

Because the end justifies the means. That is their creed. Fucking vermin.

 

Progressive Fascism sounds about right.

In reply to by 911bodysnatchers322

Jung Quantify Mon, 04/30/2018 - 04:07 Permalink

Israel might have won here: people turn against Islam as if it is one, simple, movement (of 1.7 billion people). The Israelis and the 9/11 event was meant to make people hate Muslims, kill hundreds of thousands, destroy their countries, so that Israel got what it wanted: no criticism of oppressing the Palestinians and continue to make the ME theirs. 

As Bibi said, it is very easy to manipulate Americans.

The violent Muslims are a tiny part of their worldwide believers. It used to be persecution of Jewish people but now they have found it is easier to persecute Muslims (especially the cowards who turn against the women: always go for the weakest).

In reply to by Quantify

william114085 Juggernaut x2 Mon, 04/30/2018 - 07:44 Permalink

Totally agree.  It's not just Germany....I think 90% of European countries have the same such "law".  Just looked it up:  

By country

UNBELIEVABLE.....yet not a peep from 99.9999% of the media (including sites like zero hedge)

In reply to by Juggernaut x2

UselessEater william114085 Mon, 04/30/2018 - 08:53 Permalink

The Gatestone Institute as we know is run by jews. We already have the evidence that there was no holocaust; that's why it has to be protected by laws which in many countries are unconstitutional. One day those 'reparations' will have to be paid back and that is only the start of the consequences for perpetuating the holocaust fraud.

https://wearswar.wordpress.com/2018/02/16/auschwitz-chemistry-how-scien…

In reply to by william114085

TeraByte Mon, 04/30/2018 - 04:37 Permalink

Don´t let them get over by paying fines. Jail terms are must for censors and banking executives before anything can turn into better, if ever..

PrivetHedge Mon, 04/30/2018 - 04:56 Permalink

After FB had shadow-banned me (so I could really only use it for talking to myself - duh!) and fully banned me for a few days for the thought crime of politely wondering why there were no bodies or ambulances at the Pulse Nightclub operation (and why they were carrying people, and why toward the Pulse) I decided never to use it again.

I've never had cause to regret dumping them, a social network that stops you posting is no longer a social network, it's a control mechanism.

Arctic Frost Mon, 04/30/2018 - 09:42 Permalink

 

It would be interesting for someone to calculate how many anti-Christian statements have been allowed vs anti-Muslim. Seems to me there is NO restraint on what hatred people can spout off against a Western based religion. As a matter of fact I bet they’ve censored people who dared to stand up for Christian beliefs.