Germany’s Anti-Social Network

Facebook should do more to crack down on German hate speech and xenophobia about refugees online? Sure, why not? But maybe Germans should do more to crack down on the Germans doing the hating, too. Just a thought.


Germany expects to see a record number of asylum seekers this year, most from war-torn countries like Syria and Afghanistan. The country expects to see 800,000 refugees through this year, and has pledged to accept more than any other European government, though its response has stoked some xenophobic riots. Last month, Germany’s ministry of justice criticized Facebook for not doing more to police hate speech, alleging that the social network reacts faster to remove sexual imagery than it does racist messages. German Justice Minister Heiko Maas announced the creation of the online task force after meeting with Facebook in Berlin on Monday.

Muslims Find Soap Offensive

Let me rephrase that: Certain Muslims on Facebook find a specific soap being sold by Aldi Süd offensive because it has a minaret on the label.


That injures their religious sensibilities of something so Aldi, being the politically correct cutthroat global discount supermarket chain it is, has now removed the soap from its offering. This, in turn, has pissed off a number of German customers who feel that the Muslim and Aldi reactions  are completely ridiculous, which, of course, they are.

One such customer has now suggested that Aldi also remove Germany’s famous Kölnisch Wasser (Cologne) from their offering as it injures German religious sensibilities, too. After all, the Cologne Cathedral is depicted on its label.

So fordert etwa ein Kunde auf der Facebook-Seite des Unternehmens, dass man “Kölnisch Wasser” aus dem Verkauf nehmen sollte, weil es seine religiösen Gefühle verletze.

An Anti-Semitic Caricature?

In Germany? Today? No way.


Or way?


Hard to say.

Uh. German anti-Facebook technophobia is one thing, but like what on earth were they thinking (or drinking?) over there at the Süddeutsche Zeitung when they put out this one?

“If anyone has any doubts about the anti-Semitic dimension of the cartoon, we can point to Mark Zuckerberg’s very prominent nose, which is not the case in real life.”

No Private Sphere Here

Fed up with having their personal privacy abused by Facebook, Google and the NSA all the time, many Germans have decided to give up their personal privacy altogether and now actively and gladly publish online practically ever damned freaking boring imaginable thing they do like ALL DAY/EVERY DAY/ALL LIFE LONG.


Actually, I thought they were all doing that already.

And in a related story, the Deutsche Telekom is planning to introduce “a vast computer network linking smaller computer networks worldwide,” or at least German-wide. They are then going to call this innovative and highly original new invention of theirs the Internetz. Or they sure ought to.

Or how about the Inner-Netz?

“My philosophy is that information is more useful when it’s out in the open.”

Germans Concerned That Facebook Makes Them Even More Predictable Than They Already Are

A recent study entitled “Private traits and attributes are predictable from digital records of human behavior” has some 80 millian German privacy advocates terribly concerned that Facebook might even be more revealing than they already feared it was.


The study has uncovered, for instance, that the vast number of users with female first names are in fact women. What is more, users who post pictures of themselves on Facebook run the very real risk of revealing to everyone their racial background. And perhaps creepiest of all was the discovery that the so-called “Facebook likes” a user “likes” with his or her Facebook like button reveal to the entire world just what it is said user “likes.”

This brings with it many sinister implications, of course. Unscrupulous data miners could deduce, for instance, that men who regularly like posts and pictures about beer are very likely to like beer themselves. Women, say, who actively like all things Barack Obama (especially after the first four years) are most definitely Democrats. And the list just goes on and on and on.

It is unclear at the moment what the privacy advocates will be able to do to curtail this flagrant invasion of privacy but at least most have agreed not to like it.

Mein Geschlecht, meine Hautfarbe, meine Drogen.

If It Wasn’t For Fake Names I wouldn’t Have No Names At All

Fake Germans everywhere are distraught about a legal battle Facebook ITSELF won yesterday in Germany affirming that users in that country must register on the website with their real names.


This is a terrible blow to German privacy in general and the German Office of the Data Protection Commissioner in particular because, well, this leaves the door wide open for companies like Facebook “to determine their own policies about anonymity within the governing law” when offering their services and, uh, that is just plain unacceptable or something because, well, then people like the Data Protection Commissioner could soon be out of work.

Die Entscheidungen sind mehr als verblüffend.

Seeing That Other People Have Lives Makes Germans Absolutely Miserable

Germans always knew that Facebook (like Google and practically every other hi-tech company from, uh-hum, Amerika) was somehow EVIL. But at least now they know why.


Two German universities have discovered that there is rampant German envy, uh, running rampant on Facebook. Apparantly, having to witness other people’s wonderful love lives, super vacation adventures and stunning successes at work makes them near physically ill.

This couldn’t surprise anybody who has spent any time in this country, however. Der deutsche Neid ist einfach ohnesgleichen. German Neid (envy) is unparalleled. It permeates this society to such a degree that practically every individual in the country is affected. I can’t say why this is, of course. But my gut feeling theory is that Germans are, in the end, simply unhappy. And misery loves company.

“We were surprised by how many people have a negative experience from Facebook with envy leaving them feeling lonely, frustrated or angry.”

Nix Flashmob Here, Buddy

As Wikipedia informs us, a flash mob (or flashmob) “is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and sometimes seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment, satire, artistic expression.”

Well, Munich officials clearly aren’t in the mood for entertainment, satire or artistic expression these days (it is Christmas season here after all, bah, humbug) and are threatening with 1000 euro fines anyone who decides to follow a Facebook flashmob call to stand still at the city’s famous Marienplatz for five full minutes this coming Saturday.

It’s pretty clear that they don’t want the flashmob to interfere with the Christmas mob because this could lead to mob warfare and we all know who would win that one, right? Man do I ever pity the flashmobbing fool who gets in the way of those folks.

Uns geht es nicht um das Stehenbleiben, sondern um Blockaden.

It’s Us Against Them

Us as in US, I mean.

German authorities are trying to limit what the American tech companies can do, but the Silicon Valley giants are fighting back (the key word is American here, folks).

Give the Germans what they want, I say. But what DO they want, anyway (this is one of my favorite German schizophrenia thangs).

It’s worth noting that Facebook and Google are actually quite popular in the country — the BBC reported in September that “a quarter of the German population are active Facebook users and Google has 95% of the country’s search market.”


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