The Facebook office building in Hamburg has been the target of vandalism on Sunday, says a report from Reuters. The building has been damaged with flass smashed, paint thrown inside and the vandals spraying ‘Facebook dislike’ on a wall, noted police in the northern German city.
Motive not clear
In a statement, police said there were 15-20 people in the group dressed in black clothes and hoods that carried out the overnight attack. An investigation has been launched. The incident did not result in any injuries, according to a Facebook spokesman. He said it was not possible to immediately comment on the possible motive behind the act of vandalism.
Facebook’s European head is under investigation in Germany over the alleged failure on the part of the U.S. firm to remove racist hate speech. A prosecution spokeswoman said last month that there are chances he will be held responsible for the failure of the social platform to remove hate speech.
Last month, a Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on the investigation, but said, “we can say that the allegations lack merit and there has been no violation of German law by Facebook or its employees.”
Dual standard from Facebook?
Germany is struggling to cope with arefugee influx, and xenophobic reactions to the immigrants have flourished because of social network’s lax policing of rules against hate speech, according to the critics of the company, including many German politicians and celebrities. Attacks on hostels for migrants and asylum-seekers are becoming common in many parts of Europe these days.
For its part, Facebook has entered into a partnership with a group called FSM that monitors multimedia service providers on a voluntary basis, and has said to encourage users to push back against racism.
Since March 2015, Facebook has a super-clear policy on hate speech spelled out on the service. “Content that directly attacks people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity, serious disabilities, or diseases,” says the company policy.
That said, many are questioning Facebook’s motives in not reacting to statements posted by Donald Trump in which he is directly attacking Muslims and Muslim immigration into the U.S. Trump’s statements have remained up, despite his posts being flagged by many users including filmmaker Michael Moore.