Germany investigates Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook over failure to remove hate posts


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/11/04/germany-investigates-mark-zuck.html


#2

Obligatory:

The failure isn’t so much with Facebook as it is with the userbase. They have nearly 2 billion users. I’d be amazed if they could police it. It’s not something you can really police algorithmically (see: most of Cory Doctorow’s posts on algorithmic cruelty) so we’re left relying on the horde to act in good faith (hint: they won’t.)

That’s how we end up with a system where breastfeeding mothers get their pictures removed, but neo-Nazis clog up feeds with neo-Nazi crap.


#3

FacefuckingBook has long been a festering sesspool of bullying/hate/ and what not low wattage imbeciles.


#4

It seems like FB was made aware of the 438 posts and did exactly zero with that information. It seems to me that the argument this is somehow an onerous burden or that FB can’t possibly police all 2 billion users falls flat when a nation informs you that 438 posts are to be taken down or at least not accessible in their country.


#5

Unpopular hate posts, you mean. You can post hate speech on FB as you keep it mainstream: anti-gay marriage, degenerate immigrants, putting Muslims in internment camps. Once enough people agree with you, your hate speech becomes free speech.


#6

Basically I think you’re saying that the business model of Facebook cannot deliver results acceptable in a democratic society because it allows disproportionate weight to highly motivated bad actors. If so I agree.
Slashdot ran into exactly the same problem as the far right gained traction and so also gained moderation power.
We’re back into the issue of losing a little liberty to protect democracy.


#7

Germany is not amused by your puny First Amendment.


#8

I think the First Amendment was an excellent idea, and as originally meant it applies in Germany, France and the UK. You are allowed to criticise the government and its officials without fear of arrest.

The subsequent landgrab in the US is a different matter. Try promoting Nazi views in Germany and see where it gets you.


#9

We have different laws here. Anything that is “Volksverhetzung” (incitement of hatered in people) is against the law, such as hate speech against an ethnic, religious or sexual group or denial or glorification of the crimes on Nazi rule. For historic reasons, that kind of speech in a public forum is not coverd by free speech. We have learned from our history.


#10

Americans have, too. The only problem being that the thing we learned is to buy more guns and to keep anyone brown and/or female from having agency.


#11

If you’d learned from your history you wouldn’t be in a position where you feel the need to resort to state censorship to suppress hate speech. Denying people the right to speak doesn’t change what’s in their minds, and I’m skeptical of how much it limits their ability to influence others (probably about as much as the RIAA has been able to limit file sharing).

If people think this way, I’d much rather they be open about it. At least then, I can count them. I can know who they are and what they’re up to.


#12

But there were no boobs in these posts were there? Or at least female women boobs with female nipples on them.

Male boobs and nipples are okay.


#13

Actually, they do.
Ideas propagate because people read about them and decide that other people like them believe them. The whole point about Facebook is that it is an echo chamber, not a free market in ideas, and it shows its readers what they want to be shown. No critical thinking involved. It hypes people up because the more extreme stuff they look at, the more extreme stuff they get shown.

And don’t talk to Germans about learning from history. They have done so rather more successfully than the US, and as a result have a more cohesive and equal society. Germany has gone from the scourge of Europe to being the country that does the most to unite Europe. The US, meanwhile, is by far the biggest destabilising influence in the world with its constant wars in the Middle East, and is still unable to come to terms with its past of slavery. I’m not German, but I admire what they have achieved.


#14

What about transgender ones?
Is it something to do with being attached to smooth, rounded, aesthetically attractive objects?


#15

I am not smart enough to understand the algorithms our silicon valley overlords use to decide what communication is allowed. All I know is that when my mate came round the garden over the summer and posted hairy breasted selfies of us Arsebook was just fine with that.

Maybe nobody was in danger of being aroused by us. Or something.


#16

People will see what they want see, on FB or elsewhere. They’ll download the files they want to download, they do the drugs they want to do (or find substitutes). You can inhibit that through censorship to a limited degree, but by doing so you also endanger your own free speech rights.

I’m not comparing the US and Germany, I’m pointing out that if you have to pass a law to suppress something, then clearly you still have a problem with that thing, and I would argue that force is the least effective way to deal with it. We all patted ourselves on the back for purging the Confederate flag, but here we are with Donald Trump within striking distance of the White House.

You don’t measure social progress by what you prohibit. You measure it by what you can afford to allow.


#17

Your comment is exactly why I wouldn’t want to start an Internet-based company and have it be popular. Not only would I have to worry about the laws of fhe Federal government, all 50 states, all the various territories, and the literally thousands of municipal governing bodies, I have to worry about the roughly 200 nations of the world.

The notion that if I started just a blog and could run afoul of EU law if, God forbid, an EU resident visited the thing and received a cookie without prior notification…


#18

I’m guessing the horde will argue with you about this…until the next time they remember that drug laws not only don’t work, they unfairly target minorities.

IMHO one of the big problems with hate speech laws is that there’s not a good way to exclude the minority. At least not where I am. If, for example, a professor at a state-run university started wearing “KILL WHITEY” shirts, even though it’s almost clearly done with a nod and a wink, they’d probably find themselves out of a job in a hurry. Why? Hate speech, man.


#19

I basically refuse to accept that response from the large tech companies. They are perfectly happy to accept the giant bags of cash that come from scale, they can pick up the responsibility that comes with that cash.


#20

What now?

I’m pointing out that if you have to pass a law to suppress something, then clearly, and I would argue that force is the least effective way to deal with it.

You’re talking out of your ass. You obviously don’t have the slightest clue about how Germany deals with this when you think the only thing that was done was censoring hate speech.

Heck it was the Holocaust - we should (and do!) make damn sure that we still have a problem with that thing! Perhaps you and your fellow countrymen should do that too … because you, as a nation, copy a lot from Hitlers How-To-manual lately with all the torture, mass surveillance, jack booted police thugs stuff going on. Make America great again!