German satirists ′clean up′ Facebook in viral video | Digital Culture | DW | 10.08.2016
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Digital Culture

German satirists 'clean up' Facebook in viral video

A video of a stoning is no problem, but a bare nipple? Erase that video! A German comedy group has founded a Customer Care Service and is taking Facebook to task.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have teamed up to create Germany's first-ever Facebook police, tasked with erasing hate speech from the social media platform - according to a satirical viral YouTube video produced by web-based comedy group Bohemian Browser Ballet.

The video - which mimics an outdated insurance commercial, evoking feelings of security in an office setting - is narrated by the head of the fictional new Facebook Customer Care Service, Meik Drewel.

In the opening scene, an employee comes to Drewel asking whether a video depicting the stoning of a woman should be erased from Facebook. Drewel hesitates, until it becomes apparent that the woman's blouse is opened during the video to reveal a nipple. "Erase it! Ban the user!" commands Drewel.

While we don't see the fictional video in question, we do hear the screams of the woman.

YouTube video slams Facebook's policies

The video introduces various employees of the Customer Care Service. One is a drug addict, another masturbates while evaluating pornographic material, and a third suffers a mental breakdown in the care of two staff psychologists.

"We have two psychologists per staff member," promises Drewel in the two-minute film. "That's world class."

The video clearly slams Facebook's seemingly untransparent policies regarding the censorship of hate speech. While explicit sexuality is removed, blatant brutality often remains on the site.

The Bohemian Browser Ballet, which calls itself "the official ballet of the German internet," is an online collective of comedians, musicians and entertainers. The group recently went viral with another video in response to Green party politician Renate Kunast's suggestion that German police officers shoot at perpetrators' legs during an attack situation, rather than kill them.

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