A German couple were taken to court and sentenced after they created a Facebook group that criticised migrants and the government’s mass migration policy. …
According to the court, the page, which has been taken down, in its first post stated: “The war and economic refugees are flooding our country. They bring terror, fear, sorrow. They rape our women and put our children at risk,” which along with a German flag as the groups profile photo, was enough to bring the couple to court for hate speech. …
The judge in the case was unforgiving in his verdict on the site saying that “the description of the group is a series of generalisations with a clear right-wing background”. After sentencing Peter M. to a nine month suspended prison sentence and his wife to a fine of €1,200 the judge said: “I hope you understand the seriousness of the situation. If you sit in front of me again, you will end up in jail.”
The German Justice Minister Heiko Maas claims that social media sites don’t do enough to combat hate speech online and has threatened sites with further European Union (EU) regulation. …
The task force that the Justice Minister refers to was set up last year in order to combat “hate speech”, which can range from the promotion of Nazi ideology all the way to mere criticism of the German government’s migrant policy.
Mr. Maas and the task force have been largely criticised after it was revealed that one of the organisations set up to help with the task force was headed by Anette Kahane, a former informant of the notorious east German domestic spy agency, the Stasi.
Police in Germany have started carrying out raids in peoples homes in an attempt to prosecute people for inciting “hate speech” on Facebook.
A press release from Germany’s federal police agency confirmed that around 60 homes were searched this week as a result of people posting messages deemed as extreme by the German authorities.
“The action carried out today shows that the authorities are acting firmly against hate on the internet, which has grown considerably in the wake of the refugee situation,” said Holger Münch, head of the BKA, said in the statement.
“Attacks on refugees are often the result of radicalization, which begins on social networks. These words should not poison the social climate,” he continued.