Germany fights to end online abuse ahead of election



“We have zero tolerance for hate speech and support the goals of NetzDG,” Facebook said in a statement.

Twitter, which received around 833,000 complaints and deleted around 81,000 messages during the same period, said a majority of those messages did not meet the definition of illegal speech, but still violated the terms of service of the company.

“Threats, abusive content and harassment all have the potential to silence individuals,” Twitter said in a statement. “However, regulation and legislation like this also have the potential to dampen free speech by encouraging regimes around the world to legislate as a way to stifle dissent and legitimate speech.”

YouTube, which received around 312,000 complaints and removed around 48,000 pieces of content in the first six months of the year, declined to comment on anything other than saying it was in compliance with the law.

The amount of hate speech has become increasingly pronounced during the election season, according to researchers at Reset and HateAid, organizations that track hate speech online and push for tougher laws.

The groups examined nearly a million comments on far-right and conspiratorial groups on about 75,000 Facebook posts in June, concluding that about 5% were “highly toxic” or violated the law on speeches. hate online. Some of the worst content, including posts with Nazi symbolism, had been online for more than a year, the groups found. Of the 100 posts reported by the groups to Facebook, about half were deleted within days, while the rest remain online.

The election also saw a wave of disinformation, including false allegations of electoral fraud.

Annalena Baerbock, the 40-year-old leader of the Greens and the only woman among the best candidates to succeed Merkel, has been subjected to disproportionate abuse compared to her male rivals from other parties, especially sexist ones. insults and disinformation campaigns, according to researchers.


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