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.”

Advertisements

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.

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.