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Twitter Censors German Neo-Nazi Group, Within Germany 227

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, Insightful)

    by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:17AM (#41692289)

    Doubly good rant since it was posted at the time the article went live, by an account which has (as of this writing) only a single post. Don't worry, I'm sure you'll see some half-hearted posts in other threads today to make it look slightly less like a complete shill.

  • Re:Google censors (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NeutronCowboy ( 896098 ) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:20AM (#41692337)

    Let's see...
    1) Poster posts in the same minute story goes live.
    2) Poster is not a subscriber, and post is longer than 90 words.
    3) Poster is brand new, with only this post to his name.
    4) Post consists entirely of "Google is evil!"

    Woo, OCD anti-Google poster/shill is back.

    By the way, Google did not remove the anti-muslim video, and Twitter (not Google) is following local German law. You're irrational, and can't read.

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

    by lxs ( 131946 ) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:28AM (#41692451)

    Because they would like to do business in Germany.

    Besides, fuck neo nazis.

  • Re:Yes! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:30AM (#41692473)

    The law is not intended to show how Nazi censorship was wrong. I have absolutely no idea what would make you think that.

  • by concealment ( 2447304 ) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:37AM (#41692567) Homepage Journal

    My problem with such censorship is mainly that it doesn't work.

    1. It legitimizes the opposition. To them, their government now appears as a legitimate oppressor. In turn, that conveys legitimacy toward their message. If you really want to destroy them, treat their actions as a more mundane crime, like unlicensed use of unscientific ideas. Or tear a page from the Soviet book and categorize them as insane.

    2. In a pluralistic society, clashes are inevitable. We now have thousands of different groups in just about every country, and most of them oppose almost all the others. Whose god is true? Whose idea of society is true? Socialism is incompatible with capitalism, some religion is incompatible with some science, many ethnic groups hate each other, most life-philosophies and political viewpoints clash, and any ideology is going to first oppose all others because to be an ideology it must claim to be the one right way. That includes pluralism, for Inception fans.

    3. It is a slippery slope, for two reasons. First, the censored group is going to be evasive and start disguising their message. This means you're going to have to censor more and more stuff, and may eventually destroy your government's efficiency with lots and lots of possibly contradictory rules. Second, the more you censor, the greater likelihood that the opposition will be able to use this against you. We're already seeing this with people saying nasty things about Israel regarding Palestinians, in fact, calling them Nazis. I don't think this leads anywhere but to bad.

    4. It teaches your citizens to become sheep. The message from government should not be, "We're going to get rid of bad ideas." It should be that citizens and institutions need to constantly be aware of why certain ideas are opposed. The censorship becomes a rule like traffic laws, which we evade when we can because we don't see a clear connection (mainly because it often does not exist) between going 5 mph faster and carnage on the roads. Imagine this applied to political ideas.

    People usually tell you that censorship leads to 1984 and that may be true, but I find the above list even more likely and more dangerous. They are less exciting though and I'll never get on Letterman this way.

  • First (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Boronx ( 228853 ) <evonreis@mohr-en ... m ['ing' in gap]> on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:45AM (#41692683) Homepage Journal

    First they came for the Nazis and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Nazi ...

  • Re:First (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fredrated ( 639554 ) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:51AM (#41692757) Journal

    Then they came for the serial killers and I didn't spreak out...

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:51AM (#41692761) Homepage

    It should be that citizens and institutions need to constantly be aware of why certain ideas are opposed.

    Are you seriously suggesting that an average German doesn't understand why Nazis are trouble? I mean, they only have a large Holocaust monument approximately 350 meters from the seat of government, it's not like they think it's important or something.

    I should point out that it's not any references to Nazis that are illegal, it's references to Nazis that are clearly intended to promote Nazis and Nazi values. The history books have the whole story, and that's fine. A few years ago, there was a production of The Producers, and laughing at Hitler was fine. But that's not what these guys are.

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

    by lxs ( 131946 ) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:58AM (#41692841)

    That is ultimately a matter between Twitter and the country in question. Unless you believe that national sovereignty is reserved for the US and its satellite countries.

  • by Marianne013 ( 1323185 ) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:59AM (#41692875)

    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.

    Article 5 of the German constitution would contradict that, but don't let facts get in the way.

  • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @11:26AM (#41693249)

    Article 5 of the German constitution would contradict that, but don't let facts get in the way.

    Written guarantees are meaningless if they are ignored in practice. The Soviet Union also guaranteed freedom of expression, yet 20 million people perished in the Gulags.

  • by bfandreas ( 603438 ) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @12:21PM (#41693971)
    It is simpler than that.
    Laws always represent Teh Will Of Da Peoplz.
    Those particular morons got caught calling for the overthrow of our pleasant little democracy and replace it with something nasty that hadn't worked before. This is understandably quite illegal. So the group got outlawed. So they get the boot as per German law. And since Twitter most likely formed a legal entity in Germany so they can do business with us(be pay in sausages) they are subjected to German law.

    Hate speech in various colours will land you in front of a judge and you will not be tried by a jury of your peers but somebody who actually got some training. Repeat offenders spend time in the hospitality of the German people(they will be fed sausages). We do the same with Islamistic/Christianistic/PETAistic morons who have as of yet install a reign of terror(they get halal/tofu sausages made unless it's Friday which is when we feed them hotdog buns).

    Unlawful speech is defined by the lawmaker who in turn got elected by the German people. So this is NOT Joachim Gauck/Norbert Lammert/Angela Merkel taking objection that lands you in the dock.

    Next week:
    Germany restricts your right to keep and arm bears.

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter