More Censorship Fun

This time Germany’s way cool new censorship law (NetzDG or Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz, if you prefer) has seen to it that a German artist’s works be effectively banned on Facebook and Instagram because, well, no one even bothered to explain why this time.

Barbara

That road sign up there is a form of hate speech, you see. If you look closely, I mean. It’s sexist, right? Or is it racist (the dark part)? I don’t know but something is definitely distrubing about it and I think that the nameless employee who pressed on the Censor Sensor Button or whatever it is they call it was right on the money. Better safe than sorry, I say. When it doubt, censor it out. It’s good to know Big Bruder is watching.

“Über das Löschen von Beiträgen entscheiden irgendwelche Angestellte von privaten Firmen im Auftrag von Facebook und Instagram, die im Schnellverfahren entscheiden und nicht einmal irgendwelche Gründe für das Löschen nennen. Ich sehe die Freiheit im Internet dadurch mehr als nur bedroht, sie wird aus meiner Sicht dadurch ruiniert.”

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Heart-Warming German Children’s TV

Financed by the German Staatsfunk mafia, too.

Kika

It’s so cute or something. German children’s channel KiKa broadcast this touching love story between these two sixteen-year-old kids. One is a German, one is a Syrian refugee. Heart-warming, like I said. Especially once you realize that the Syrian is actually 20 (at least) and that he is also a big fan of German Salafist hatemonger preacher Pierre Vogel.

Young German girls are crazy about this kind of romantic stuff, I guess. And you got to give the people what they want, right? And they can’t be subjected to it early enough, I suppose. So it’s also heart-warming to know just where all those GEZ “contribution” euros go. Not that anybody can do anything about that or anything. Just saying.

Der syrische Flüchtling soll laut Angaben der Bild-Zeitung die offizielle Fan-Seite des deutschen Hasspredigers und Salafisten-Führers Pierre Vogel geliket haben. Vogel war Mitglied eines inzwischen aufgelösten salafistischen Vereins, der vom Verfassungsschutz beobachtet wurde. Er gilt als einer der einflussreichsten Prediger der deutschen Salafismusszene.

German Voters To Get What They Voted Out Of Office After All?

Oh boy. Everyone is so excited. I, for one, can hardly contain myself.

Back

Merkel is back (sure, she never left in the first place but still).

Schulz is back.

The GroKo is back.

Back to back.

Hey, once you go back you never go back.

Back to the future? Hardly.

What is it going to take to get them off my back?

German politicians have achieved a breakthrough in talks aimed at forming a new coalition government. A blueprint for formal negotiations was agreed between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and their former coalition partners, the Social Democrats (SPD).

Going, Going…

Gone.

CO2

Here’s another one of those well-intentioned-do-gooder-mandates-from-above-meeting-reality kind of things. Why is it that reality is always popping up its ugly little head all the time, anyway?

The two parties likely to form the next coalition government in Germany have agreed to give up on the country’s climate targets for 2020. The goal was to achieve a 40% reduction in emissions from 1990 levels. In 2016, Germany’s had only reduced emissions by 28% versus the baseline (pdf), so the plan is now unrealistic.

There are two ways to interpret the announcement.

A charitable response would be that the news isn’t a surprise. Although Germany has made heavy investments in renewable energy, it has also been shuttering zero-carbon nuclear power plants since 2011. Giving up on the 2020 climate goals makes sense, especially if the coalition maintains the 2030 target of a 55% emissions reduction versus 1990 levels.

A harsher response would be that the news is devastating. “This damages the credibility of Germany but it also damages the whole international climate process,” Tobias Austrup, an energy expert at Greenpeace told the Financial Times. “Why should other countries stick to their climate goals if we don’t?”

Don’t The French Have A Hate Speech Law?

This could never happen in Germany. Not anymore. It’s simply too, too… Too hateful.

Women

French movie star Catherine Deneuve and other prominent French women say men are being unfairly targeted by sexual misconduct allegations and should be free to hit on women.

This #metoo hysteria is, well, hysterical. Think Hollywood show the other night (I won’t say which one). You know, the girls in black? Isn’t it strange, folks? Since when did so-called liberals get to become so puritanical?

“Women are sufficiently aware that the sexual urge is by its nature wild and aggressive. But we are also clear-eyed enough not to confuse an awkward attempt to pick someone up with a sexual attack.”

German Hate Speech Law Keeps Reaching New Levels

Of absurdity, I mean. Now satirical publications are up for grabs.

Fake

When a German neo-Nazi politician tweeted that German police were trying to “to appease the barbaric, Muslim, rapist hordes of men,” her account was briefly suspended — but when the satirical magazine Titanic put up its own tweet mocking the Nazi, their account was suspended, too…

Prior to the law’s passage, free speech advocates warned that this would happen, and Angela Merkel personally promised it wouldn’t. It only took three days for the first case to come to light.

Government regulation in action. You know the deal, folks. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

“The last few days have emphatically shown that private companies cannot correctly determine whether a questionable online statement is illegal, satirical or tasteless yet still democratically legitimate.”

What Goes Around…

Couldn’t have happened to a nicer Big Brother.

Maas

Germany’s justice minister has fallen victim to the rules he himself championed against online social media, as one of his tweets was deleted following several complaints, Bild daily reported Monday.

The tweet dated back to 2010, when Heiko Maas was not yet a minister.

In the post, he had called Thilo Sarrazin, a politician who wrote a controversial book on Muslim immigrants, “an idiot”.

In der Debatte um das Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz (NetzDG) wird Heiko Maas von einem Tweet eingeholt, den er vor sieben Jahren verfasst hat. Durch das neue Gesetz, das der SPD-Politiker und Bundesjustizminister entworfen hat, sollen strafbare Äußerungen im Internet schneller gelöscht werden.

Food For Thought Police

“Please spare us the thought police!” read a headline in Wednesday’s Bildzeitung.

Feige

As recently reported, the latest German censorship craze (exemplified by the Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz or “Internet Enforcement Law”) is already being abused by those who would make us think what we are told. This type of thing never takes very long, of course. I read this in a book in high school once long, long ago in a galaxy far away. It was called 1984 or something. The book, I mean.

Anyway, this law… meant to curtail hate speech on social media in Germany is stifling free speech and making martyrs out of anti-immigrant politicians whose posts are deleted. The law which took effect on Jan. 1 can impose fines of up to 50 million euros ($60 million) on sites that fail to remove hate speech promptly. Twitter has deleted anti-Muslim and anti-migrant posts by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) and blocked a satirical account that parodied Islamophobia.

But the case I really like is this one here: A German thought criminal had the audacity to criticize Germany’s reticence to support the protests in Iran and write “one could get the impression that Germany has become an unbelievably cowardly nation” in Facebook. This horrid example of hate speech was enough to get the user promptly blocked.

The outrage about this outrage about the other outrage (I’m running out of outrages) among the German population also remains rather reticent, to say the least. But they are law-abiding citizens, after all. The Germans. They don’t want to commit any thought crime or anything.

Einer der beiden Fälle betrifft Irina Schlegel (33), die Chefredakteurin des Kreml-kritischen Recherchemagazins „InformNapalmDeutsch“. Sie schrieb am 1. Januar im Zusammenhang mit der deutschen Zurückhaltung zu den Protesten im Iran: „Man bekommt den Eindruck, Deutsche sind eine unglaublich feige Nation geworden“. Zwei Tage später löschte Facebook den Post und sperrte die Verfasserin für drei Tage.

Thank Goodness We Have Experts

Otherwise we dummies down here in the street would have never, ever in a million years been able to figure out that the spike in violent crime in Lower Saxony is directly related to the arrival of migrants there.

Crime

And thank goodness this is only the case in Lower Saxony, right?

The German state of Lower Saxony witnessed a 10.4 percent increase in crime at the height of the migration crisis, according to a study. The study’s authors said age and reporting practices factored into the connection…

According to the study, which was conducted by the Zurich University of Applied Sciences and paid for by Germany’s Ministry of Family Affairs, police witnessed an increase of 10.4 percent in reported violent crimes in 2015 and 2016. More than 90 percent of the increase (not of total violent crimes) was said to be attributable to migrants.

I know, I know. How distasteful. How can they be allowed to publish studies like that? Couldn’t somebody censor them or something?

Wissenschaftler haben die Gewaltkriminalität von Flüchtlingen am Beispiel Niedersachsens untersucht. Sie rechnen fast jede achte Gewalttat einem Asylsuchenden zu.

Orwell In Da House

It’s been a long time coming, people. Now the New Germans finally have what they have wanted all along, it seems: Full-blown, voluntary, participatory state censorship (got a better term?). It’s what you’d call grass roots censorship, I guess.

Orwell

Beatrix von Storch, a leading figure in the Alternative for Germany party, is one of the first hit by new hate speech laws on social media… A top lawmaker from the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party was blocked from Twitter and Facebook on Monday after slamming the Cologne police for sending a New Year’s tweet in Arabic.

The first groundbreaking hate crime is wondering why the police in North Rhine-Westphalia tweet in Arabic? Damn. I need to get my brain properly washed. That rather freaks me out, too.  “What the hell is happening in this country? Why is an official police site tweeting in Arabic? Do you think it is to appease the barbaric, gang-raping hordes of Muslim men?”

Brain Police 2.0 is out now, folks! Go get it before it gets you.

“Was zur Hölle ist in diesem Land los, wieso twittert eine offizielle Polizeiseite aus NRW auf Arabisch?”, schrieb von Storch. “Meinen Sie, die barbarischen, muslimischen, gruppenvergewaltigenden Männerhorden so zu besänftigen?”