Germany Says Facebook’s Zuckerberg Gets Message on Hate Speech

Reuters, February 25, 2016

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg understands the need to stamp out hate speech on the world’s biggest social network, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff said on Thursday after a meeting between the two in Berlin.

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“We in Germany obviously want illegal content to be removed from the Internet. That concerns not only Facebook, but Facebook among others,” Peter Altmaier said after a meeting in Berlin with Zuckerberg.

“My impression is that Mr Zuckerberg understood the importance of this issue,” he said, describing the meeting as “very good and constructive”.

Facebook’s rules forbid bullying, harassment and threatening language, but critics say it does not enforce them properly. It has hired a Bertelsmann business services unit to monitor and delete racist posts on its platform in Germany.

Last September, during a United Nations meeting in New York, an exchange between Merkel and Zuckerberg was caught on live microphones.

She asked him about the hate posts and he responded: “We need to do some work”.

“Are you working on this?” she shot back in English. “Yeah,” he said.

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