Hate speech is speech with hurtful content which aims to attack individuals or groups. It encompasses all forms of speech, including the written form, gestures or comments posted on social media platforms.
Hate speech posted online is often directed at minorities, including women, members of the LGBT community, people with special needs and/or foreigners. Additionally, it takes aim at religion, race or ideology. Often, hate speech threatens the individual or group and calls for violent behavior. The persecution of hate speech worldwide depends on the jurisdiction of the respective country. In 2016, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter agreed on an EU Code of Conduct which calls for the majority of illegal hate content to be erased within 24 hours of posting. Germany is one of the countries where hate speech can be prosecuted in cases of libel, incitement and insult. This page collates DW content on hate speech.
A man who allegedly spread hate speech at the Sachsenhausen camp memorial near Berlin is to face face criminal charges. He was part of a group visiting from the constituency of Alice Weidel, leader of the far-right AfD.
In 2017, a Facebook video posted by the far-right AfD amassed numerous hate-filled comments against refugees. German authorities said they've fined nearly 100 people over their remarks and are probing scores of others.