back to article Time's up: Grace period for Germany's internet hate speech law ends

The grace period for tech firms failing to meet Germany's strict new hate speech law has ended. The network enforcement act – Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz, or NetzDG if that doesn't roll off the tongue for you – was passed by the government back in June. It gives companies with more than 2 million users just 24 hours to remove …

Silver badge

Bah!

I was going to post on how this is a very difficult issue on which to bring any impartiality, but as a non-German speaker I'm distracted by the perception that "Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz" looks like it should be stenciled on the side of some unfeasible-looking late WWII-era aircraft, tank or flying tank.

Sorry to be so juvenile. I have no idea what to do about hate speech on (anti)social media.

It *is* personally disturbing that the international public rhetoric sounds so much like that being tossed around in the mid-thirties. Are we collectively *that* ready for another global ding-dong that as soon as the surviving generations who remember the last one are almost all dead we are itching for another go?

21
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Bah!

"barbaric, gang-raping hordes of Muslim men"

Surely that's covered under fair comment on factual local events?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year%27s_Eve_sexual_assaults_in_Germany

21
18
Silver badge

Re: Bah!

I have no idea what to do about hate speech on (anti)social media.

I guess we could learn from Germany, since they have a few years experience on fighting hate speech on all kinds of media.

9
3
Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: Bah!

"barbaric, gang-raping hordes of Muslim men"

Surely that's covered under fair comment on factual local events?

And I bet if you take out the word 'Muslim' it would be acceptable. *sigh*.

A few years ago there was a case where a couple of soldiers STOPPED an Afghani soldier from RAPING A BOY on a U.S. military base.

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/world/asia/us-soldiers-told-to-ignore-afghan-allies-abuse-of-boys.html

"American soldiers and Marines have been instructed not to intervene" "not even when their Afghan allies have abused boys on military bases"

"The policy of instructing soldiers to ignore child sexual abuse by their Afghan allies is coming under new scrutiny, particularly as it emerges that service members like Captain Quinn have faced discipline, even career ruin, for disobeying it."

(yes it's a New York Times link, so you can assume THIS REALLY HAPPENED)

So when someone in Germany comments on "barbaric, gang-raping hordes of Muslim men", I have a proclivity towards BELIEVING IT IS TRUE based on actual EVIDENCE of similar *kinds* of abusive action by a significant number Moslems. IGNORING the facts on this, in the name of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS (and some new FASCIST law that apparently restricts free speech on that basis - and I deliberately use the word FASCIST because I *KNOW* it will *STING*) simply because some poor SJW might feel bad and decide call it 'racist'. When it's NOT. Islam is a RELIGION, not a RACE. And certain practitioners of that religion do things that the rest of the world _SHOULD_ consider HEINOUS.

And NOT being able to talk about it honestly in a public forum because of anti-free-speech laws is JUST AS HEINOUS.

23
17
Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Bah!

"I have no idea what to do about hate speech on (anti)social media."

how about 'go elsewhere'? or 'do not read it' ?

But, 'control freaks' will always be compelled to control others... and SJWs (in particular, those behind anti-free-speech laws) are nothing _BUT_ 'control freaks'.

18
10
Big Brother

Re: Bah!

Surely that's covered under fair comment on factual local events?

Yes, but like the War it is not to be mentioned!

12
2
Silver badge

Re: Bah!

"And NOT being able to talk about it honestly in a public forum because of anti-free-speech laws is JUST AS HEINOUS."

No one is not talking about it, but the language used can be polite and factual or it can be inflammatory. Which would you chose, you ignorant fucking bastard[1]

[1] One of those three words definitely applies, another probably applies and the third, well I have no idea whether your parents were married or not. Of course, I could have been more polite and said the same thing.

20
7
Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Bah!

"like the War it is not to be mentioned!"

I think I'll mention it.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/07/11/more-than-2000-men-reportedly-sexually-assaulted-1200-german-women-on-new-years-eve.html

Apparently new year's eve in 2016 (just 2 years ago) involved a large number of rapes, apparently as alleged by "Beatrix von Storch" in the "at issue" tweet, in which ACTUAL! BARBARIC! GANG-RAPING! HORDES! actually HAPPENED.

but yeah, relevant commentary on REAL events, when the politically-correct-of-the-day classes are involved, is "hate speech" (according to the SJWs).

7
18
Silver badge
Flame

Re: Bah!

"but the language used can be polite and factual or it can be inflammatory"

I prefer _INFLAMMATORY_. It's more fun.

And that would be MISTER "ignorant fucking bastard".

2
13

Re: Bah!

I too was fascinated by "Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz", seemingly a noise that would be made if you happened to German and stubbed your toe.

Also, I'm not apologizing for my juvenile sense of humor.

6
0
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Bah!

Brilliant, Bob...just fuckin' brilliant! The reductio ad absurdum exhibited in yet another frothing blather that passes as a post of yours is simply beyond belief.

Oh, I'm sorry! I used Big Words, and in a furrin' language to boot. Assuming you can read stuff from a dictionary, let me help you...

Definition of reductio ad absurdum

1 : disproof of a proposition by showing an absurdity to which it leads when carried to its logical conclusion

2 : the carrying of something to an absurd extreme

12
2
Silver badge

Re: Are you kidding me?!?

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/07/11/more-than-2000-men-reportedly-sexually-assaulted-1200-german-women-on-new-years-eve.html

Fox Noise er..."news"? is theis the same Fox "news" that has claimed:

  • GREG GUTFELD: Says Ted Kennedy met "with the KGB in order to beat Ronald Reagan in 1984."
  • NEWT GINGRICH: Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich "apparently was assassinated at 4 in the morning, having given WikiLeaks something like 53,000 emails and 17,000 attachments. ... It turns out, it wasn’t the Russians."
  • BILL O'REILLY: Says Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland "voted, so the folks know, in Washington, D.C., to keep guns away from private citizens."
  • LAURA INGRAHAM: "The 90 percent statistic of supporting background checks, that's been debunked."
  • ERIC BOLLING: "In countries where there are higher, more strict gun laws, there is more gun violence.":
  • SANDRA SMITH: "Almost 95 percent of all (Planned Parenthood) pregnancy services were abortions."

And on and on. Note that all the quotes have been <proven> to be false and were known to be false at the time they were made.

Perhaps, Bob, you need a source that, you know, has actual facts before you write. As a wise man has said, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

16
6
Silver badge

@ bombastic bob -- Re: Bah!

And that would be MISTER "ignorant fucking bastard".

Really? How do we know you're not some 14 year-old girl up in her room?

2
3

Re: @ bombastic bob -- Bah!

Oh, so now you're attacking its preferred gender identity? /sarc

6
1
Silver badge

Re: Bah!

It *is* personally disturbing that the international public rhetoric sounds so much like that being tossed around in the mid-thirties. Are we collectively *that* ready for another global ding-dong that as soon as the surviving generations who remember the last one are almost all dead we are itching for another go?

Glad I'm not the only one who thinks this way. The amount of on-line comments supporting Nazi's right to free speech is... fucking scary.

14
3
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: @ bombastic bob -- Bah!

" How do we know you're not some 14 year-old girl up in her room?"

because this isn't a 4-chan inspired fantasy?

3
3
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Are you kidding me?!?

re: anti-fox-news-rant

I wasn't even trying to troll you but you bit the fox news link anyway, hook line and sinker! Nice job!

Not surprisingly, it distracted you from the point, that 2 years ago there WERE gangs of barbaric Islamic men raping women in Germany. But it was fun to watch you respond anyway.

3
14
Silver badge

@Stevie -- Re: Bah!

It *is* personally disturbing that the international public rhetoric sounds so much like that being tossed around in the mid-thirties. Are we collectively *that* ready for another global ding-dong that as soon as the surviving generations who remember the last one are almost all dead we are itching for another go?

Indeed, it appears that the political winds are blowing in that direction lately. Not just in the US but in most of Europe also. Is there another one coming? Possibly with purges based on religion (sounds familiar) as well as ideology. These are indeed scary times with certain leaders provoking other leaders and much hatred running amok.

4
1
Silver badge

Re: Are you kidding me?!?

Let's remember that Fox doesn't have an FCC "news" license but an "entertainment" license. At least one of their news opinion stars was a comedian before working there. I'll leave it to the reader to discern which one.

8
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Are you kidding me?!?

"Perhaps, Bob, you need a source that, you know, has actual facts before you write"

In this case it's accurate. See the Wikipedia article referenced above.

3
2

Re: Bah!

"No one is not talking about it, but the language used can be polite and factual or it can be inflammatory. Which would you chose, you ignorant fucking bastard[1]"

Whichever way he chooses to express his views, perhaps he doesn't need his door kicked in at 6am by the police for choosing it.

In my experience such polite, factual discussions tend to end with no resolution, other than recognising that it is "a difficult, sensitive issue". Hands are thoroughly wrung, and pained expressions displayed on earnest faces. And the no-go areas continue to spread, and women continue to be raped in Sweden, and Germany. In my view, our polite and factual discussions are merely pretending to address this issue.

7
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Bah!

"A few years ago there was a case"

Apparently that's why terrorists always wear robes. Goats and young boys can hear zips!

4
1

Re: Bah!

i'm not going to dispute your claim. but in general, the [over]use of CAPS is inversely proportional to the quality and intellectual consistency of someone's response, imo.

6
0
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Re: AC Re: Bah!

".....Surely that's covered under fair comment on factual local events?...." No, it's not as it implies all Muslim men in Germany are part of rapist gangs, whereas the reality of the Cologne events were that a small number of the Muslim men in Germany were involved. Now, if she had argued that Islamic societal norms and teachings encourages the abuse of women then she might have had more of a debatable point, but the blanket statement is wrong.

3
1
Bronze badge
Stop

Re: ecofeco Re: Bah!

".....The amount of on-line comments supporting Nazi's right to free speech is... fucking scary." <Sigh> No, we are not all raving "Nazis" just because we question why only "Nazis" seem to be targeted by many of these censoring laws. IMHO, in this case, Beatrix von Storch's comment is obviously incorrect as it tars all Muslim men with the same brush based on the actions of a minority. But the rush to silence "Nazis" is worrying given how the governments of Europe have been half-heartedly chasing the social media giants for years to get them to remove Islamic extremist material and posts, including stuff that broke existing incitement laws, yet they are falling over themselves to shut down "Nazis" at top speed. We are not supporting "Nazis", we are questioning why free speech is being selectively applied. The obvious answer is that there is a political bent to all this - the "Nazis" threaten the established governments of Europe, as shown by the rise of so many Right-leaning (and even outright Right-extreme) groups across Europe, therefore they must be silenced. If you cannot debate something as obviously silly as Beatrix von Storch's comment then it is either because you are not smart or you believe the people are simply not smart enough to make their own minds up and need to be "managed for their own good"- that is the type of totalitarianism which "anti-fascists" claim they want to avoid, but which history shows us is the result of such controls. And using laws to silence political opponents is a slippery slope. You either defend everyone's right to free speech inside the law or you are not defending free speech.

3
5
Silver badge

Re: Bah!

"the [over]use of CAPS is inversely proportional to the quality and intellectual consistency of someone's response, imo."

Quite. As per the common use for headlines in "newspapers" for the retarded. Intelligent writers tend to use all caps VERY sparingly!

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: AC Bah!

"whereas the reality of the Cologne events were that a small number of the Muslim men in Germany were involved."

Circa 2000 in one incident isn't a "small number".

0
0
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Re: AC Re: AC Bah!

".....Circa 2000 in one incident isn't a "small number"." True, as a single incident it is a very worrying number and does indicate there was (and probably still is) a worrying tendency towards sexual violence amongst younger male Muslim immigrants in Germany. But, seeing as there are approximately 5 million Muslims in Germany, about 6.1% of the general population, it would seem unfair to say all German Muslims can be called rapists based on the actions of 0.04% of their number. By comparison, the BNP managed to get 1.9% of the popular vote in the 2010 UK General Election, but I bet you wouldn't describe the 2010 British population as 100% Fascist based on the nutty beliefs and actions of those 1.9%, would you?

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: AC AC Bah!

"it would seem unfair to say all German Muslims can be called rapists "

She didn't say all Muslims. She referred to a muslim hordes and 2000 seems to cover that.

"based on the actions of 0.04% of their number."

Well yes if it had been a comment on demographics it might have been more accurate if she qualified it as "arab muslim men". However as a general comment it did unfortunately reflect reality.

0
2
Anonymous Coward

It's not new year till September in the Islamic calendar.

5
1
Anonymous Coward

"It's not new year till September in the Islamic calendar."

And I'm guessing it's also not the 21st century for about another 1000 years...

35
1
Gold badge

Why guess? Wikipedia will tell you more than you want to know about the Islamic calendar.

2
2
Silver badge
Meh

"Wikipedia will tell you more than you want to know about the Islamic calendar"

*zing* (/me makes motion over the top of my head, in reference to "this guy didn't get it" or else he posted that as a way of acting a bit clueless for humor, not sure which)

I think the "another 1000 years" reference was a snide reference to the backwards thinking related to 'establishing a caliphate' and the way much of Islam treats their women (and children), and christians, and homosexuals, and basically anyone who isn't a Moslem, etc.

At least, that's how _I_ saw it (and it was funny, because it was based on the truth)

10
4
Anonymous Coward

Well this could get messy...

You don't need to look too far into the example set by Muhammad to find a license for barbarism and questionable (shall we say) views on women & their capacity to have a say over their own reproductive systems.

And if Islam preaches the example of Muhammad, and Muslims are a collection of people that practice Islam, then it is hard to find a factual issue with the tweet; although it is provocatively phrased.

So I guess we're into the realm of deciding whether there is a delta between what people believe is correct, and what the religion they follow says is correct. Which is fine in most religions, but for Islam in particular, moderates are quite hard to come by. You appear to either believe in Islam in it's entirety, or you do not at all.

So who is the arbiter of this problem? What if an offensive remark is truthful, nevertheless. Should this be removed? Does this not open the door to intolerance of free speech and give another weapon of censorship to people keen to mute anyone and everyone who shine a light on medieval practices.

AC for reasons of self preservation on this particular topic.

41
7
Anonymous Coward

Re: Well this could get messy...

Could you substitute Mohammed with God / Christ and replace much of the hated of women with (anything other than straight male) and change Islam to Judaism / Christianity.

Thanks...

"Which is fine in most religions, but for Islam in particular, moderates are quite hard to come by.You appear to either believe in Islam in it's entirety, or you do not at all."

Get out more....you may be surprised. I know many that you would class as moderate, heck one even puts up Christmas trees.

There are nasty bigots in most religions, no need to single out Islam.

37
16
Anonymous Coward

Re: Well this could get messy...

He was a paedophile, he married a six year old (Aisha) and consummated the marriage when she was nine.

I defy anyone to condone that behaviour on a developing child. I also question alternative views that contest she had reached puberty as even that would be wrong.

Regardless, all of this removes us from the real issue of why there are some people determined to induce hate between different people whether that be religion, race or colour. That's the question that needs answering because the people feeding it put it into the mainstream press on an almost daily basis.

21
1
Silver badge

Re: So who is the arbiter of this problem?

Presumably, the same people who are the arbiter of problem in other media: the courts.

There isn't a special law for content on the Internet - the same rules on content would apply to a book or newspaper and in that case a publisher takes an informed view before publication of whether the content is likely to be legal.

The only difference here is that the publisher's attention is being drawn to potentially illegal content ex post facto and they then get to make exactly the same judgment as a publisher in another medium. It's up to the publisher* to decide whether they want to make a free-speech argument for some specific content.

*Yes, Twitter, Facebook, et al, don't want to be regarded as publishers, precisely because of the liability that implies, but this law is pretty much pushing them down that road. Not before time, in my view, and not in enough places, but it's a start.

12
3
Silver badge

Re: Well this could get messy...

> "Could you substitute Mohammed with God / Christ..."

No.

14
24

Re: So who is the arbiter of this problem?

So when Facebook or Twitter decide you're a racist, who do you appeal to? With a *court*, you have a right of appeal, and fixed definitions to unpick. What do you have with Twitter and FB?

Governments are intentionally offshoring their censorship so they can squeal "oh no, we're not censors.... " And also so they don't have to have untidy and public debates in parliament regarding which 15% of their populations they're going to gag.

27
2
Silver badge

Re: Well this could get messy...

"He was a paedophile, he married a six year old (Aisha) and consummated the marriage when she was nine."

Actually, that seems to have been debunked.

Mohammed married a female whose age wasn't recorded - as was quite common 1400 years or so ago. Then curious people tried to figure out her age based on any mentionings of her relative to historic events. Which is a bit difficult; I think the birth date of Jesus has an error of up to nine years (and he was definitely not born in 1BC or 1AD).

Due to these calculations, it seems her age at the time of marriage was anywhere from 6 to 19 years. But no matter what attitudes were in these days, there would have been comments at the time of marriage if Mohammed had married a six year old girl, and there are none reported. Even in those days, people would have thought of marrying a six year old as ridiculous at best.

12
11
Silver badge

Re: So who is the arbiter of this problem?

So when Facebook or Twitter decide you're a racist, who do you appeal to?

If Simon & Schuster, to take a current example, decide your book isn't worth publishing, who do you appeal to? [Hint: you don't, you try to find another publisher, if you can].

Regardless of what you are proposing to say, free speech does not mean you are entitled to a platform (either your own, or someone else's).

15
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Well this could get messy...

"Then curious people tried to figure out her age based on any mentionings of her relative to historic events. "

So, for centuries, your run-of-the-mill Muslims were quite happy worshipping their guy who had been shagging a nine or ten year old. But when kiddie fiddling became a bit frowned upon, some revisionist historians came along, fresh from slagging off British generals from the Great War and bomber Harris, and changed the story by adding on a few years. With little or no evidence. Because "But no matter what attitudes were in these days, there would have been comments", just like there were comments with Jimmy Savile and Cyril Smith in the 70's. Got it. Makes sense. Anyway, that would never happen today, with your modern Muslims.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/sep/11/yemen-child-bride-dies-wedding

p.s. WTF are 'mentionings'?

18
6

Re: Well this could get messy...

"So, for centuries, your run-of-the-mill Muslims were quite happy worshipping their guy who had been shagging a nine or ten year old. "

Plenty of Christians were standing behind Roy Moore, the Alabama senate candidate, when it became known that he had chased after a 14 year old girl when he was in his 30's. And it wasn't entirely that they didn't believe the girl - some didn't have any problem with the age difference.

26
6
Silver badge
Meh

Re: why there are some people determined to induce hate between different people

It is a way of control and recruitment. Get people angry and reason flies out of the window. They pick a side, any side and are willing to do anything for their side to win. As the group grows and gets powerful it becomes appealing to more people, as being on the 'winning' side is good even if the reasons are bad.

14
0
Silver badge

Re: Well this could get messy...

> Plenty of Christians were standing behind Roy Moore, [...]

Rather "Christians", fucking bigots in my book.

Morbidly entertaining how people can ignore rather vicious actions because "he's one of us".

15
4
Silver badge
Devil

Re: Well this could get messy...

there's a *HUGE* difference between Mohammed marrying Aisha at 6 and "consummating" at age 9, and Roy Moore's alleged 'chasing after' a 14 year old girl. The definition of pedophila as a psychological disorder, for example, refers to "below the age of puberty", whereas 'chasing after' a teenager is NOT considered a psychological disorder - in fact, in SOME cultures, it's considered "normal". [of course in western nations it's considered "cradle robbing" but that particular distinction is a social issue that's been decided by courts and legislatures, and is NOT considered a psychological disorder - just creepy].

And don't forget Roy Moore lost the election, kicking and screaming all the way down. When faced with two obvious bad choices, between 'bad' and 'worse', voters held their noses and did what they had to. But I admit I woul have preferred to see Senator Roy Moore rather than "that other guy" simply because "that other guy" is going to be a pain in the ass obstructionist for the next 2 years...

[so consider any vote "for" Roy Moore was more likely a vote "against the Demo-Rat"]

7
23
Silver badge
IT Angle

Re: Well this could get messy...

There are nasty bigots in most religions, no need to single out X.
That's the whole point, of course. And it doesn't need to be a religion; any type of human group you care to mention would fit - nationality, gender, skin colour, language, political party...

There are nasty bigots using most programming languages, no need to single out Pythonistas.

14
1
Gold badge

Re: Well this could get messy...

There are well-documented cases in Medieval Christian Europe of marriages being *arranged* at such a young age and several cases where the ceremony was performed (sometimes by proxy, so the children involved had no say in the matter whatsoever) but it was considered unacceptable to consummate the union until puberty, and poor taste even then not to wait a few more years for concern over the health of the girl.

Whether similar practices existed lower down in the social strata, I have no idea.

11
2
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Well this could get messy...

there's a *HUGE* difference between Mohammed marrying Aisha at 6 and "consummating" at age 9, and Roy Moore's alleged 'chasing after' a 14 year old girl.

Yeah, one's got the wrong religion and color skin, amirite?

But I admit I woul have preferred to see Senator Roy Moore rather than "that other guy" simply because "that other guy" is going to be a pain in the ass obstructionist

Ahh, I see, it's not religion or color, Mohammed must be a Democrat..

Better to have an alleged ("I don't recall going out with her, but if I did, I asked her mom first", eww) child molester than a Democrat, explains why your country is morally bankrupt and becoming increasingly irrelevant internationally.

6
2
Silver badge

Re: Well this could get messy...

"But I admit I woul have preferred to see Senator Roy Moore rather than "that other guy" simply because "that other guy" is going to be a pain in the ass obstructionist for the next 2 years..."

Yes, because Republicans have not been obstructionist for nearly a year now.

7
3

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018