Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook investigated for hate posts

Facebook says it hasn't violated German law and is working on fighting hate speech online.

    CEO Mark Zuckerberg is being investigated in Munich for hate speech posts on Facebook [Eric Risberg/AP]
    CEO Mark Zuckerberg is being investigated in Munich for hate speech posts on Facebook [Eric Risberg/AP]

    German prosecutors are investigating Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives following a complaint alleging the company broke national laws against hate speech and sedition by failing to remove racist postings.

    A spokesman for the Munich prosecutor's office declined on Friday to provide further details. German attorney Chan-jo Jun had filed a complaint with prosecutors in the Bavarian city in September and demanded that Facebook executives be compelled to comply with anti-hate speech laws by deleting racist or violent postings from its site.

    Facebook: Social media platform or news gatekeeper?

    Facebook's rules forbid bullying, harassment, and threatening language, but critics say it does not do enough to enforce them and has failed to staunch a tide of racist and threatening posts on the social network during an influx of refugees into Europe.

    Facebook's CEO meets US conservatives on reported bias

    Prosecutors in Hamburg earlier this year rejected a similar complaint by Jun on the grounds that the regional court lacked jurisdiction because Facebook's European operations are based in Ireland.

    "There is a different view in Bavaria," his firm Jun Lawyers of Wuerzburg in Bavaria said in a statement.

    "Upon Jun's request, Bavarian Justice Minister Winfried Bausback said that Hamburg's view was wrong and German law does indeed apply to some of the offences," it said.

    Jun's complaint named Facebook founder and chief executive Zuckerberg and nine other managers at the company, including Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.

    Facebook said it had not violated German law and was working on fighting hate speech online.

    "We are not commenting on the status of a possible investigation, but we can say that the allegations lack merit and there has been no violation of German law by Facebook or its employees," a company spokesman said.

    Facebook board member apologises for India tweets

    Jun has compiled a list of 438 postings that were flagged as inappropriate but not deleted over the past year. They include what some might consider merely angry political rants, but also clear examples of racist hate speech and calls to violence laced with references to Nazi-era genocide.

    Following a public outcry and pressure from German politicians, Facebook this year hired Arvato, a business services unit of Bertelsmann, to monitor and delete racist posts.

    A rash of online abuse and violent attacks against newcomers to Germany accompanied the influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees last year, which led to a rise in the popularity of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and has put pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    Facebook stock plummets to record low

       

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why Saudi-Israeli normalisation could be dangerous

    Why Saudi-Israeli normalisation could be dangerous

    Apart from being disastrous for Palestine, normalising relations with Israel could get Saudi Arabia in real trouble.

    Gender violence in India: 'Daughters are not a burden'

    Gender violence in India: 'Daughters are not a burden'

    With female foeticide still widespread, one woman tells her story of being mutilated for giving birth to her daughters.

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    There are reports Saudi Arabia is demanding money from the senior officials it recently arrested.