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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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.”

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.

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?”

No Joke

Little old ladies just don’t seem to understand the world we are now living in. Not that I do, either. But still.

Hate Crime

In Germany, you can be arrested and fined €1,350 for finding jokes like these funny (and then sharing it on your Facebook page): “Do you have anything against refugees? Yes. Machine guns and hand grenades.”

And using some lame excuse like “I like to pass on funny things” won’t help you out here one little bit, ma’am. You are guilty of hate crime. Hate crime, you ask? What is hate crime? Well, hate crime, when it comes to jokes, is kind of like thoughtcrime only… No, wait. It is thoughtcrime. That’s precisely what it is. Now just sit back and relax, ma’am. We will purge that abominable joke from your mind with the help of this little red button right here.

„Ich leite gern spaßige Sachen weiter.”

Is it Newspeak or Newsspeak?

The Fukushima worst case scenario has now actually happened, in Germany. And the Fukushima worst case scenario is that the Fukushima worst case scenario never happened. Sometimes the truth raises it’s ugly and pointy little head, even here. Only for a second or two, but still.

I read the news today, oh boy. And not that any of you out there really care or anything, but I discovered that even journalists with the best of politically correct intentions can screw up from time to time. In this case it was in a Zeit article entitled Stress und Strahlung (Stress and Radiation) by Hans Schuh*. It was about how, well, something called “psychosocial stress” resulting from the Fukushima incident will now be producing more victims than the radiation did (I think he meant in Japan because psychosocial stress victims have been dropping like flies here in Germany for months now).

Like duh, Hans. Something has to produce victims when the “Super-GAU” everyone was banking on never materialized, right?

My favorite line in the article: In hindsight it has been revealed that with regard to one aspect of the accident’s occurance the world community (he actually means Germany here, of course) was taken in by an error: The “worst case scenario in the fuel cooling basin” never took place.

I’ve got to know, folks: How on earth did this ever get past the Brain Police?

I know how. “The people” will automatically understand that the worst case scenario took place anyway, sort of, irgendwie. They have long been aware of the fact that their reality must be made to comply with your/our ideologically motivated fear agenda, so it ain’t no big thing, this one little slip-up. This type of thing only makes Newspeak stronger, I think, although I can’t claim to be fluent in it yet myself.

Im Rückblick offenbart sich auch, dass die Weltgemeinde in Bezug auf das Unfallgeschehen zumindest in einem Punkt einem Irrtum aufgessen ist: Der “GAU im Abklingbecken”, der global Schlagzeilen machte fand gar nicht statt.”

* You won’t be finding this article online for some reason. I guess it’s not fit for the masses just yet.

News Alert! Here’s the article after all. They publish these online a little later, I guess.