A secret Facebook group became the target of coordinated police raids for its spreading of hate speech.
(CCM) — Police from 25 different departments have carried out a series of coordinated raids on individuals suspected of inciting hate speech online. In Germany, where the raids were conducted, it is a crime punishable by up to five years in jail to disseminate hateful speech. According to reports by The BBC quoting German officials, the detained individuals engaged in "glorification of Nazism [and] xenophobic, anti-Semitic, and other right-wing extremism." This operation marks the first time that the German government has taken such elaborate action in the face of politically motivated extremism expressed online and could potentially inspire other international governments to follow suit. "Today's action makes it clear that police authorities of the federal and state governments act firmly against hate and incitement on the internet," said the president of Germany's federal criminal police authority, the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA), Holger Munch.
Previously, Facebook, Google, and Twitter have come under fire for perpetuating hateful and violent speech by not removing it in a timely fashion. As a result, at the end of last year, the three tech giants agreed to take swift action against this form of expression and delete it within 24 hours of its flagging. Additionally, Facebook agreed to launch a task force to combat hate speech online as well as a campaign to use social media as a means to counter racism, among other initiatives.
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