Facebook has been requested by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel to take steps to prevent racist comments and hate posts on its network. There is a serious concern among the politicians and celebrities that xenophobic comments in Germany will rise on social media platforms including Facebook as a consequence of the refugee crisis, says Reuters. Germany expects a record-breaking influx of refugees this year.
Facebook not doing enough
Merkel told Rheinische Post, a regional newspaper, “When people stir up sedition on social networks using their real name, it’s not only the state that has to act, but also Facebook as a company should do something against these violations.” She added that Facebook already has a required code of conduct, but the rules need to be implemented as there is a lack of control and enforcement. Merkel herself was subject to abuse. She was called a traitor by far-right wing protesters at a new asylum center in Heidenau.
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In August, Justice Minister Heiko Maas slammed Facebook for not making sufficient efforts to thwart racist and hate posts. Mass even sent a letter to Richard Allan, the public policy director of Facebook in Dublin, mentioning users complaints that Facebook is ignoring their protests about racist posts. He also suggested a meeting in Berlin on September 14th.
Facebook is taking Maas’s concerns very seriously, and also expressed interest in meeting the justice minister, according to a spokeswoman for the company.
Opposition politicians also support Merkel
Kathrin Göring-Eckhardt, the co-leader of the parliamentary opposition Green party, is among the few politicians that support the chancellor in asking Facebook to do more to prevent racism on the platform.
She even posted a black and white YouTube video on her Facebook Page on Friday addressing few of the comments that she had been subjected to on the site, and has described those as filth, which “belongs in the trashcan.” Addressing to the company’s management, she said, “See to it that such hatred, that such filth is no longer on the pages of Facebook.”
The politician said she is representing all Germans who are assisting the asylum seekers. She also read out few of the comments made at her personally, she had been described as an “Amischlampe” (Yankee whore) or “stupid as a pig.”