September 15, 2015
Facebook has promised to work harder to eradicate racists comments from its site after meeting with Germany’s Justice Minister Heiko Maas Monday.
The move comes just days after German Chancellor Angela Merkel called upon the social network to crackdown on racist comments. Such posts have increased since the country announced it would take in 800,000 Middle East refugees per year.
“The conversations that happen on Facebook reflect the diversity of a community of more than 1 billion people,” German Facebook policy manager Eva-Maria Kirschsieper said in a statement. “It is a constant challenge to balance the interests of this diverse population and we are always looking for ways to make our policies and processes more effective and sensitive to the concerns of local communities.”
Maas told a press conference following the meeting that his ministry would set up a task force with Facebook as well as other social networks and internet service providers to pinpoint and remove hate speech and racist posts more quickly.
“This is a joint task for the whole of society, and I am very grateful to Facebook that they are taking their responsibility in this joint task,” Maas was quoted by Reuters.
Last month, Maas, in a letter to the social media site, said it was not doing enough to police ignorant posts and suggested the meeting in Berlin.
Merkel echoed Maas’ sentiments in comments to the media last week, saying better rules needed to be put in place.
“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 paroles,” Merkel told regional newspaper Rheinische Post in its Friday edition.
She said the social network has a strict code of conduct in place, but was not doing enough to enforce it.
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.