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 Offsite Article: Another example of censorship backfire...


Link Here 14th January 2018  full story: Internet Censorship in Germany...Germany considers state internet filtering
washington post logo Can social media become less hateful by law? Germany is trying it -- and failing

See article from washingtonpost.com

 

  Self inflicted censorship...

German 'justice' minister falls victim to his own badly thought out new censorship law


Link Here 9th January 2018  full story: Internet Censorship in Germany...Germany considers state internet filtering
heiko maas by sandro halankGermany's justice minister fell victim to the rules he himself championed against online social media when one of his tweets was deleted following several complaints.

The censored tweet dated back to 2010, when Heiko Maas was not yet minister. in the tweet he had called Thilo Sarrazin, a politician who wrote a controversial book on Muslim immigrants, an idiot.

Maas told Bild on Monday that he did not receive any information from Twitter about why the tweet was deleted, or whether it would be deleted from Twitter.

Germany meanwhile signalled on Monday it was open to amending the controversial law which combats online hate speech. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said an evaluation would be carried out within six months to examine how well the new law was working.

 

  Inevitably shoddy results from forcing commercial companies to censor posts for free...

German opposition parties speak out about new internet censorship law that even if the first week is manifestly failing freedom of speech


Link Here 8th January 2018  full story: Internet Censorship in Germany...Germany considers state internet filtering

fdp logoGermany's NetzDG internet censorship law has been in force since the New Year and has already sparked multiple controversies. Opposition parties across the political spectrum already say its time for change.

Senior figures in the rival Free Democratic (FDP), Green and Left parties on Sunday demanded lawmakers replace Germany's recently passed online hate speech law. The call comes after Twitter decided to delete allegedly offensive statements by far-right politicians and suspend the account of a German satirical magazine.

The last few days have emphatically shown that private companies cannot correctly determine whether a questionable online statement is illegal, satirical or tasteless yet still democratically legitimate, the FDP's general secretary Nicola Beer told Germany weekly Die Welt am Sonntag .

Beer said Germany needed a law similar to the one the FDP proposed before Christmas that would give an appropriately endowed authority the right to enforce the rule of law online rather than give private companies the right to determine the illegality of flagged content.

Green Party Chairwoman Simone Peter has also called for a replacement law that would take away the right of private companies to make decisions regarding flagged content. He said:

It is not acceptable for US companies such as Twitter to influence freedom of expression or press freedoms in Germany. Last year, we proposed a clear legal alternative that would hold platforms such as Twitter accountable without making them judges.

Greens' internet policy spokesman, Konstantin von Notz, also criticized the current statute, telling the newspaper that the need for reform the law was overdue.

Left leader Sarah Wagenknecht added:

The law is a slap in the face of all democratic principles because, in a constitutional state, courts rather than private companies make decisions about what is lawful and what is not.

 

  The right context...

Echoing Germany's controversial publication of Mein Kampf, France debates whether to censor the works of Louis-Ferdinand Céline who wrote pamphlets supporting the Holocaust


Link Here 6th January 2018
Bagatelles pour un massacre A censorship row has erupted in Paris after publishing house Gallimard announced it would publish a collection of pro-Hitler pamphlets by the otherwise notable novelist Louis-Ferdinand Céline.

Céline is hailed as one of France's most brilliant writers for his 1932 novel Journey to the End of the Night, regarded as one of the greatest French works of the 20th century.

Gallimard has insisted it will go ahead with the publication of Bagatelles pour un massacre, a collection of 1930s pamphlets by Céline, who called for the extermination of Jews. The publication date is not set but Gallimard has insisted its intention is to frame the texts with a critical commentary.

When Gallimard was reported to be about to publish the collection last spring, the government stepped in and summoned the publisher. The government urged the publisher to include notes giving the full context drawn up by specialists, including historians. The editor is understood to have rejected this, claiming that notes by a literary expert on Céline would suffice.

Serge Klarsfeld, a French lawyer and Nazi-hunter has demanded the publication be stopped, threatening legal action if Gallimard continues. He said he supported historians studying the texts, but said that presenting a shiny new edition of Céline's "abject" writing in bookshops would be "intolerable" and no amount of footnotes could temper that.

The book has already been published in Canada in 2012, although Le Monde warned that the Canadian edition's notes were insufficient.

 

  German free speech sails the Titanic...

As feared, Twitter is unable to distinguish between hateful comments and criticism of hateful comments and so just censors everything


Link Here 6th January 2018  full story: Internet Censorship in Germany...Germany considers state internet filtering
banned titanic tweetThe Twitter account of German satirical magazine Titanic was blocked after it parodied anti-Muslim comments by AfD MP Beatrix von Storch.

She accused police of trying to appease the barbaric, Muslim, rapist hordes of men by putting out a tweet in Arabic.

On Tuesday night, the magazine published a tweet parodying von Storch, saying:

The last thing that I want is mollified barbarian, Muslim, gang-raping hordes of men.

Titanic said on Wednesday its Twitter account had been blocked over the message, presumably as a result of a new law requiring social media sites to immediately block hateful comments on threat of massive fines. There is no time allowed or economic reason for assessing the merits of censorship claims, so social media companies are just censoring everything on demand, just in case.

 

 Updated: Not a happy new year...

German internet censorship law comes into force


Link Here 5th January 2018  full story: Internet Censorship in Germany...Germany considers state internet filtering
governmet germany logoGermany starts enforcing an internet censorship law where contested content has to be taken down pronto by social media who will suffer massive fines of they don't comply.

The law is supposedly targeted at obviously illegal hate speech, but surely it will be used to take down content anyone doesn't like for any reason. The threats of fines and short time allowed simply means that websites will opt for the easiest and most economic policy, and that is to take down anything contested.

The new law states the sites that do not remove obviously illegal posts could face fines of up to 50m euro. The law gives the networks 24 hours to act after they have been told about law-breaking material.

Social networks and media sites with more than two million members will fall under the law's provisions. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will be the law's main focus but it is also likely to be applied to Reddit, Tumblr and Russian social network VK. Other sites such as Vimeo and Flickr could also be caught up in its provisions.

Facebook has reportedly recruited several hundred staff in Germany to deal with reports about content that breaks the NetzDG and to do a better job of monitoring what people post.

Update: First examples of fair free speech being censored in Germany

5th January 2018. See  article from politico.eu

twitter 2015 logoSophie Passmann is an unlikely poster child for Germany's new online hate speech laws.

The 24-year-old comedian from Cologne posted a satirical message on Twitter early on New Year's Day, mocking the German far right's fear that the hundreds of thousands of immigrants that have entered the country in recent years would endanger Germany's culture. Instead of entertaining her more than 14,000 Twitter followers , Passmann's tweet was blocked within nine hours by the American social media giant, telling users in Germany that Passmann's message had run afoul of local laws.

...Read the full article from politico.eu

Update: German censorship law is a sin against free speech

5th January 2018. See  article from dailymail.co.uk

bild logoA top-selling German newspaper has called for a new social media hate speech law to be axed after labelling it a sin against freedom of opinion.

The law which took effect on January 1 can impose fines of up to 2£44million on sites that fail to remove hate speech promptly.

The Bild newspaper, under the headline Please spare us the thought police!, says the new law risks making martyrs out of anti-immigrant politicians whose posts are deleted.

Update: Germany's AfD party seeks to turn online censorship to its advantage

5th January 2018. See article from dw.com

afd gaggedGermany's rightwing AfD party have been busy with political posters pointing out that they will be the likely victims of censorship under Germany's new law.

And they will certainly have a good claim. The new law will surely over censor, and any complaint will end up in a censored post, regardless of the merits of the claim. A slightly UnPC post by AfD is likely to be blocked, and so the AfD will rightly be able to highlight the censorship.

The publicity for examples of censorship will surely chime with a significant proportion of the German population, and so will add to the general level of disaffection with the political elite.

Perhaps Germany ought to at least ensure that censorship should be based on the merits of the case, not implemented by a commercial company who only cares about the cheapest possible method of meeting the censorship requirements.

 

  Surely a bigger threat to democracy is a crap political system that don't look after its own people...

Macron thinks that the internet censorship of 'fake news' is a panacea for widespread disrespect of politicians


Link Here 4th January 2018
emmanuel macronEmmanuel Macron has vowed to introduce a law to censor 'fake news' on the internet during French election campaigns. He claimed he wanted new legislation for social media platforms during election periods in order to protect democracy.

For fake news published during election seasons, an emergency legal action could allow authorities to remove that content or even block the website, Macron said. If we want to protect liberal democracies, we must be strong and have clear rules.

He said France's media censor, the CSA, would be empowered to fight against any attempt at destabilisation by TV stations controlled or influenced by foreign states. Macron said he wanted to act against what he called propaganda articulated by thousands of social media accounts.

Macron has an axe to grind about fake news, during the election campaign in spring 2017 he filed a legal complaint after Le Pen, the Front National leader, referred to fake stories about him placing funds in an offshore account in the Bahamas. Also a bogus website resembling the site of the Belgian newspaper Le Soir reported that Saudi Arabia was financing Macron's campaign. Le Soir totally distanced itself from the report.

 

  High pitched tweets...

Erdogan gets all easily offended by political cartoon on Twitter


Link Here 27th December 2017  full story: Erdogan Insulted in Europe...Free speech finds no refuge in Germany
recep tayyip erdoganTurkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is demanding that Dutch political cartoonist Ruben Oppenheimer and Twitter censor a cartoon of him from the social media platform. The cartoon showing him having sex with the blue Twitter bird, with the caption: Erdogan is not a goatfucker. Both Oppenheimer and Twitter received a Turkish court order to remove the picture..

For now, the Dutch cartoonist will not remove the cartoon. Oppenheimer said in his tweet. Is it very silly if I now make a call to massively share it again? Shortly before posting this cartoon again, Oppenheimer also tweeted a photo of the court order he received and a letter from Twitter asking him what he is going to do.

The court order dates from the start of this month. Twitter is considering which steps to take. The social media platform writes that they may be obligated to take action regarding the content identified in the legal request in the future. They also ask Oppenheimer to let them know if he decides to voluntarily remove the cartoon, or if he decides to file an objection in the Turkish courts.

 

  Minor influence...

Gallery bans Tijana Grujic's erotic art exhibition in Belgrade


Link Here 24th December 2017
tijana grujicNational Theatre Club management in Belgrade has cancelled Tijana Grujic's exhibition Autoportretisanje: Maske su pale (Selfportraiting: The Masks Have Fallen) over explicit erotic content, reported Serbian art and culture news site Noizz .

The venue's management explained that guests, who were able to see the paintings a day before the ceremonial opening on 26 November 2017, claimed the works to be indecent, adding that the nudity and erotic scenes could influence children.

Families with children visit this place during the day and since this exhibition is not for minors we had to cancel it, organisers told Serbian news source Blic .

The painter claimed that management was familiar with her work as she had exhibited her work at the venue previously and that the details for the recent exhibition were shared a month in advance.

 

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