back to article German Wikipedia attacked over Nazi symbolism

A German politician has filed charges with Berlin police against Wikipedia's German language site on the grounds that it contains "too much Nazi symbolism, particularly an article on the Hitler Youth movement". Katina Schubert, a deputy leader of the Left party, told Reuters she'd sought legal advice before making her move, …

COMMENTS

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  1. Adam Buckland
    Paris Hilton

    How much is too much

    There is one image of the flag of the Hitler Youth. Someone appears to be trying to make a name for themselves.

    Also, where is the Paris Hilton angle?

  2. Iamfanboy

    German WP perfect target for neoNazis?

    Hm, makes sense to me.

    Invidious comparisons to the recent antics of American Wikipedia bigwigs aside, the truth is that it gives a very clear, easy to take over target that would allow neo-Nazis a chance to relentlessly propagandize while paralyzing anyone who tried to provide a 'fair and balanced' view, and the Wikipedian's knee-jerk reaction is to defend the idea of Wikipedia at all costs without looking at evidence.

    Wikipedia: poster child for showing how low the common denominator of the Internet is. The truth of Web 2.0: there's a reason that most people aren't qualified to create content, because their content sucks.

    The question is, what IS the evidence? Not just glorifying the Hitler Jugend, but top German Wikipedians glossing over the crimes that the Nazis committed, or obsfucating the issue in any way, would show that there is evidence here.

  3. Eponymous Cowherd
    Coat

    Don't mention the War

    I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it.........

  4. Matthew Brown
    Paris Hilton

    So to avoid promoting fascism...

    ...the Germans like to restrict free speech.

    Every time the issue of Nazi symbolism in Germany comes up I chuckle at the irony.

    Come on everyone, chuckle with me.

  5. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Down

    Failing to grasp?

    "Katina Schubert fails to grasp the self-regulating mechanisms that work in Wikipedia"

    I think that Heiko Hilker fails to grasp the fact that ANYONE can edit Wikipedia articles - and so the people with the strongest commitment to spreading information (or misinformation) are most likely to win out. I wouldn't call this self-regulating - any more than tabloid newspapers are self-regulating.

    By the way, Register - the 'Remember me on this computer' box is a great idea but doesn't appear to work - cookies on, Firefox 2.0.0.11 / Win XP.

  6. David Farrell

    Free Speech?

    While I personally find the glorification of Nazi Germany and Nazism to be abhorant, I simultaneously support anyone's right to glorify whatever they choose. Do you remember something called "Free Speech"? There should be no such thing as "limits" on free speech. Free speech with "limits" is not free speech, innit?

    I find it frightening that in the so-called "free" Western World it is possible to be arrested for denying the holocaust, glorifying terrorism and Nazism, inciting hatred and various other "thought" crimes. George Orwell really knew what he was writing about.

    By all means ostracise, criticise and belittle people who glorify objectionable practises and ideologies, but criminalising people for expressing their opinions and thoughts, however objectionable they may be, makes us no better than the Nazis themselves.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Is this a beat up ?

    If you look at the English entries on Hitler Youth you will see a lot of images of Hitler Youth flags and other paraphernalia.

    Go to the German version and there is a single flag image plus a very Germanic organization structure.

    Either someone has got in and edited the German site in a hurry or this is a major beat up over a single relatively harmless image (Swastika on a field of red and white stripes)

    Jeremy

  8. oliver Stieber
    Dead Vulture

    censored

    It looks like the page has already been censored, good job wikipedia keeps an archive. The original http://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hitler-Jugend&diff=39782488&oldid=39781313 looks much better and much more informative especially when you consider what a large part it played in modern German history.

  9. BitTwister

    @Ian Ferguson

    > the 'Remember me on this computer' box is a great idea but doesn't appear to work - cookies on, Firefox 2.0.0.11 / Win XP.

    Meh, works fine here with Firefox 2.0.0.11.

  10. Rob

    What is Free Speech...

    .... it's an ideal not a given, so stop banding it around like we're all entitled to it, some of us clearly shouldn't be entitled to it, especially if their main aim is to use it to harm others.

  11. Peter Leech Silver badge

    cookies

    > the 'Remember me on this computer' box is a great idea but doesn't appear to work - cookies on, Firefox 2.0.0.11 / Win XP.

    Do you have your browser configured to delete all cookies when you close it?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Am I missing something?

    It's Wikipedia. You don't agree with the content, you edit it. If everyone else shares that opinion, the offending imagery/text will soon be removed.

  13. Michael Compton

    Hiding doesn't make it go away

    Sticking ur head in the sand is no way to solve the problem.

    Most of the more morally unacceptable portions of the National Socialist idealogy can be quite easily ripped apart as nothing more than sensationalist propoganda. Pretty much the same as any propoganda spewed by people with an agenda as long as it is view in an objective manner and compared to alternative points of view. The way to acheive this is to educate in an unbaised manner and give people the intellectual tools to form their own opinions. Free speech and debate is one of the ways to achieve this end.

  14. Mike Crawshaw
    Go

    @ AC "Am I Missing Something?"

    "It's Wikipedia. You don't agree with the content, you edit it. If everyone else shares that opinion, the offending imagery/text will soon be removed."

    Or if an admin-type disagrees with it it will soon be removed and you'll be banned....!

  15. Drum D.
    Alert

    Withdrawn

    Just for the record: Miss Schubert has already (or will in short) withdraw the case/file/action (don't know what's correct here) after speaking to a German Wikipedia member, which she should of course have done in the first place.

  16. Bill Fresher

    Re: oliver Stieber

    "It looks like the page has already been censored"

    Wikipedia are very quick at taking action that stifles free speech.

    (to reg: which one's the "ironic" picture)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Rob

    ".... it's an ideal not a given, so stop banding it around like we're all entitled to it, some of us clearly shouldn't be entitled to it, especially if their main aim is to use it to harm others."

    In that case, I nominate you to give yours up first.

  18. Terry
    Thumb Up

    RE: David Farrell

    Kudos on your post. Neither I, nor Thomas Jefferson (assuming he were still alive instead of just spinning in his grave) could improve one bit!

    Freedom is unquestionably one of my hot buttons and I'd love to get up a good rant about it, but I couldn't really improve on anything you said.

    I will add my undying thanks to whatever idiot(s) chooses to hold his tongue about free speech meaning you can yell fire in a crowded theater. That was dealt with over 150 years ago (in the US) and if you thought David's comments supported that you probably shouldn't go out in public unattended.

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. Alex

    WTF

    ".... it's an ideal not a given, so stop banding it around like we're all entitled to it, some of us clearly shouldn't be entitled to it, especially if their main aim is to use it to harm others."

    are you _that_ dumb? i guess you also feel you should shut up and take whatever the gov decides is in your best interest in the name of security, right? pissant.

  21. TeeCee Gold badge
    Joke

    Can't be right.

    If neo-nazi Hitler youth are trying to take over Wikipedia, someone's cheating.

    There's no Wikipedia card in *my* Illuminati set.

  22. Lee Ward
    Flame

    WTF ?

    "Her primary concern was that images could be easily re-purposed because they were online rather than in books."

    How can someone. in Government, be so clueless ?

    Oh... wait.... nevermind.

  23. David Farrell
    Flame

    @Rob

    We ARE all entitled to free speech, that's the point. You either support free speech or you don't, but what you can't do is pick and choose who is entitled to it just because you might not necessarily agree with someone.

    "Incitement" is a convenient tool used by dictators the world over to silence their critics. Robert Mugabe regularly uses it to silence and lock up his opponents. And where do you draw the line? Should Karl Marx be held responsible for the excesses of Stalin and various other crackpot communist dictators? Under today's laws he might very well be held responsible for some or other "incitement".

    To paraphrase the anti-gun lobby: "Free speech doesn't harm people, people harm people".

  24. Michael
    Thumb Down

    Freedom of Expression

    What many are missing here is that this isn't something occuring in the US or UK, where free expression is a right guaranteed by our respective constitutions. This happened in Germany, where the law says Germans do NOT have unfettered freedom of expression.

    Get off the idealistic high horse for two seconds and understand that when US documents talk about "all men [being] endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights", it is a statement of belief, not necessarily one of fact. According to German law, to which Germans agree to live by, by continuing to reside in the country, They do NOT have the right to free expression when it comes to Nazi imagery. If Germans feel the law is unjust, they have two choices, vote it down, or leave the country.

    When will people realize that different nations have different laws, and that we have no place imposing OUR beliefs upon them???

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Germany has free speech in a general way, but ...

    The theory seems to be that merely seeing a bunch of swastikas can drive a German into Nazi madness.

  26. Marco

    Re: History repeating?

    "They say that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it...

    You know who else tried to erase things that didn't make Germany look too great from the History books?"

    Mr. Campbell, you are a dumbwit. That whole country is plastered with memorials and museums about the Holocaust. It is simply not allowed to go and brandish flags with swastikas.

    That may or not be right, but so far there are no reports from Germany about princes going to parties in Nazi attire.

  27. The Other Steve
    Flame

    @Rob

    ".... it's an ideal not a given, so stop banding it around like we're all entitled to it, some of us clearly shouldn't be entitled to it, especially if their main aim is to use it to harm others."

    Oh for fucks sake, another one of the "Freedom comes with responsibility to only use it for things that I think are OK" idiots.

    I'd argue the toss with you, but I really can't be arsed, you're clearly immune to logic.

    I love it when you sad fuckers make this argument, never seeming to realise what an utter prick you are making of yourselves in the process.

    That's the real power of freedom of speech in any form, it allows really stupid people to unmask themselves for all to see.

    Carry on, dickwad.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @The Other Steve (aka “dickwad”)

    No one said, “Freedom comes with responsibility to only use it for things that I think are OK”. I think the idea is that speech needs to be limited when, in the eyes of the demos, it is being used against the common good or to unjustly harm a minority group. Are you clever enough to see the difference between this idea and the one you are throwing a fit about? You also assert one shouldn’t suggest that speech needs to be used responsibly because doing so makes one look like a “prick.” In other words, you assert that it is indecorous to say that speech needs to be responsible. How bizarre is that? You write an indecorous message and then suggest decorousness should regulate the speech behavior of those who don’t agree with you about the meaning of “free speech.” You then state, “That's the real power of freedom of speech in any form, it allows really stupid people to unmask themselves for all to see,” and for this I must commend you, for your statements themselves give us such a wonderful example of the principle. I am not sure if you are “immune” to logic, but at the least you’ve made it obvious that you are ignorant of it.

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