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Against digital violence: Federal government subsidizes Hate Aid with 497,000 euros


The organization, which helps victims of hate online in court, among other things, receives financial support from the Bundestag. The Budget Committee has decided to promote Hate Aid.

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Anna-Lena von Hodenberg (l.), Managing Director of Hate Aid, and Green Party politician Renate Künast


Soeren Stache/ DPA

The Budget Committee of the German Bundestag decided on Thursday to support the non-profit organization Hate Aid with 497,000 euros.

Hate Aid helps victims of online hate and hate speech both through counseling and court proceedings.

Most recently, the Berlin-based organization had supported the climate activist Luisa Neubauer in her actions against the right-wing populist author Akif Pirinçci and had his account seized.

Pirinçci had been ordered to pay 10,000 euros by the Frankfurt am Main district court because he had attacked Neubauer with a sexist, demeaning comment on Facebook.

It's not the first time Hate Aid has received federal funding.

Previous sponsors of the project include the Federal Ministry of Justice and the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.

Thorsten Lieb from the FDP, member of the budget committee, said: "Despite the difficult budgetary situation, we make it possible for those affected by hate speech to be given appropriate advice and not left alone on their way to enforcing the law".

Because if “citizens stop writing comments under a posting out of fear of being insulted, threatened or personally attacked, then our society has a problem”.

Lieb also calls for an “effective constitutional state”.

According to many of those affected, the prosecution of criminal statements on the Internet is inconsistent. At most, an annual day of action like the one in March, when investigators nationwide questioned numerous suspects and searched houses and apartments, caused a stir.

In addition, the specially set up "Central Reporting Office for Criminal Content on the Internet" has a problem.

Actually, their investigators should try thousands of procedures per month, identify perpetrators and effectively fight right-wing extremism on the Internet.

But the social media companies are not playing along.

As the SPIEGEL reported in January, neither Meta nor TikTok, Twitter, YouTube or Telegram want to work with the central office.

According to the Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG), they would actually have to actively report certain suspected criminal content to the BKA, including information about who published it.

The BKA has also developed an interface for this.

But the companies are of the opinion that the NetzDG is not compatible with European law.

Meta, Google and TikTok have filed corresponding lawsuits and have been successful in the first instance, at least in part, effectively slowing down the new registration office.


Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2022-09-22

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