Germany to begin fighting online hate speech

Published 09.07.2019 00:16

In bid to fight increasing far-right violence in the country, the German state of Bavaria is taking a stand against online hate speech.

"It should be easier for broadcasters and publishers to file criminal charges due to abusive comments or hate speech. Report it first, then delete it," Bavaria's Justice Minister Georg Eisenreich told the German press service dpa yesterday.

Eisenreich announced the launch of a joint pilot project between Bavaria's Justice Ministry, the state Prosecutor's Office in Munich and Bavaria's Centre for New Media (BLM) in the autumn.

"We cannot accept the creation of a breeding ground for radical ideas in our society," said Eisenreich.

He also stressed the importance of making social media operators take more responsibility for what is posted on their platforms.

Frequent use of the internet has become popular among many far-right groups as they spread their views and propaganda primarily through social media networks popular with young people. This also leads to various far-right extremist groups from different countries to connect through the internet to propagate their messages.

The latest assassination-style murder of a pro-migrant Christian Democratic Union (CDU) politician, Walter Luebcke, by a far-right extremist has raised fears of growing neo-Nazi terrorism in the country.

Luebcke's murder has revived a debate about whether Germany is doing enough to combat far-right groups. The survey also found that some 66 percent believe the state is too lenient when it comes to dealing with Nazis and far-right extremists.

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