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Mark Zuckerberg in Berlin
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/K. Nietfeld

Facebook's Zuckerberg visits Germany

February 25, 2016

The founder of the popular social media network has visited Berlin to talk with politicians about hate speech. Facebook has been criticized for failing to take a hard line on racist and xenophobic content.


Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg paid a visit on Thursday to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff as part of an effort to assuage German concerns over hate speech on the social network.

Following the meeting, Chancellery head Peter Altmaier said he was convinced he and the tech wunderkind had found common ground on the subject.

"We in Germany obviously want illegal content to be removed from the Internet," Altmaier said. "That concerns not only Facebook, but Facebook among others. My impression is that Mr. Zuckerberg understood the importance of this issue."

'We need to do some work'

Facebook's terms of use prohibit any form of bullying, but critics have argued it's too slow at enforcing the rule. In Germany, politicians have lambasted the company for allowing anti-immigrant sentiment to spread online.

In September, Zuckerberg had a brief encounter with Merkel over the subject while at the UN headquarters in New York. Asked about the anti-migrant rhetoric on the site, Zuckerberg admitted to the chancellor, "We need to do some work."

Zuckerberg has also begun initiatives that will see Facebook, which recently opened its first office in Berlin, doing research with various institutes around Germany, such as the Technical University of Berlin. The company is currently at work on a project involving artificial intelligence (AI).

blc/sms (Reuters, dpa)

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