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Twitter Censors German Neo-Nazi Group, Within Germany 227

Posted by timothy
from the they-must-hate-speech dept.
judgecorp writes "Twitter has censored a neo-Nazi group, blocking Besseres Hannover (Better Hannover), a group accused of promoting race hate. This is the first time Twitter has used its power of blocking users in specific countries, announced back in January. Although blocked in Germany, the group is visible to the rest of the world." Update: 10/18 14:46 GMT by T : Note, that's Twitter doing the blocking, not Google, as it appeared originally. HT to reader eldavojohn.
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Twitter Censors German Neo-Nazi Group, Within Germany

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  • Re:Google censors (Score:5, Informative)

    by afidel (530433) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:14AM (#41692227)

    That's a nice rant since Google is obviously a typo by the submitter given that they're talking about Twitter which is NOT owned by Google....

    Oh, and Twitter is just following the law in Germany, being a neo-nazi or espousing neo-nazi ideas is illegal in Germany.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:30AM (#41692465) Homepage

    In Germany, pro-Nazi speech is illegal. It's not Twitter's fault that they're complying with the law of the country they're doing business in.

    The reason it's illegal is twofold: (1) the United States and other allies imposed that rule on the Germans in 1945. (2) the Germans have since then made a big effort to make it abundantly clear that they are thoroughly sorry for what happened under the Nazis and want to make absolutely certain it never happens again.

  • Re:Google censors (Score:5, Informative)

    by afidel (530433) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:31AM (#41692479)

    Because they offer services to German citizens and have German operations (ie twitter.de). If a company doesn't want to follow the laws of a country it's quite simple, don't do trade in that country.

  • by afidel (530433) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:36AM (#41692557)

    No, like every other country there are limits to free speech (ie in the US you can't yell fire in a crowded theater, direct people to actively fight against the government, and "fighting words" may limit the punishment of your attacker in an assault case).

  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:41AM (#41692623)

    So...Germany is another country without free speech guarantee laws?

    Correct. Germany, like most countries, has never recognized freedom of expression as a basic human right. Frederick the Great regularly pardoned people that violated the lese-majesty laws, but most other Germans have been less tolerant.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 18, 2012 @11:52AM (#41693621)

    3) It's an uncomfortable reminder of an embarrassment that they want to erase from history.

    Not really. Being reminded of German history is extremely common in Germany. It is not illegal to speak of the Nazi past (in fact, pretty common, and in certain circumstances even mandatory to be political correct). The are countless books, reports on TV... especially of course at anniversaries of important dates (of which there are many). I had a year's worth of history classes about the time from WW I to 1945. This is surely not a way to "erase history".

    What is problematic in Germany is to show support for the Nazis.

  • Re:Google censors (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 18, 2012 @08:13PM (#41700445)

    Germany has every right to ban neo-nazi speech.

    I agree, but in this case it was not a choice the Germans were free to make. The anti-Nazi clauses were included in the Bundesverfassung (the Federal German Constitution) as a condition imposed upon Germany by the occupying powers ... including the USA. It's just too ironic to read moronic young Americans chide the Germans for banning Nazi speech.

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