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Deutschland Katrin Göring-Eckardt liest Hasstiraden aus ihrem Facebook Account
Image: grüne-bundestag.de
Politics

German politician reveals racist abuse on Facebook

September 11, 2015

Chancellor Angela Merkel and other politicians have called on Facebook to do more against racist comments on the site. Now an opposition politician has gone public with the abuse she has taken on her Facebook page.

https://p.dw.com/p/1GUyR

The co-leader of the parliamentary party of the opposition Greens, Kathrin Göring-Eckardt is one of the politicians who has echoed the chancellor's demand that the US-based social media company do more to prevent it from being used as a platform for hate and racism.

In a black-and-white YouTube video posted on her Facebook page on Friday, Göring-Eckardt addressed some of the comments she has been subjected to on the site, describing them as "filth, which belongs in the trashcan."

"See to it that such hatred, that such filth is no longer on the pages of Facebook," she said, directly addressing the company's management.

The Greens politician also states that she is speaking out on behalf of the many Germans working to assist the asylum seekers arriving in the country, who don't have the platform to defend themselves publicly against such racist abuse.

She then went on to read some of the comments directed personally at her, in which users described her as an "Amischlampe" (Yankee whore), or "stupid as a pig."

"I don't hit women, but for you I would make an exception," she quoted one Facebook user as saying.

Then she started to read the next comment, before abandoning it.

"No, this I am not going to read out," she said.

Not only via Facebook

Just before the end of the four-minute-long video, Göring-Eckardt noted that not all the abuse comes via social media networks, and read out a fax that began with: "I personally will torture and torment you until no longer know what your name is…"

Göring-Eckardt is not the only German politician to demand that Facebook take action against the spread of hatred and racism on its website.

"In an interview published in Friday's edition of the "Rheinische Post" newspaper, Chancellor Angela Merkel also voiced her concerns.

"When people stir up sedition on social networks using their real name, it's not only the state that has to act, but also Facebook as a company should do something against these slogans," Merkel said.

Justice Minister Heiko Maas has also called on Facebook to do more get racist posts off of its site and asked for a meeting with the company's German management this coming Monday. When asked via Twitter by another user on Friday whether Facebook had agreed to the meeting, Maas replied by saying the company had confirmed the appointment and that he was looking forward to their discussions.

pfd/jil (dpa, EPD)

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