Merkel: Facebook should police racist posts

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Facebook should be more aggressive in taking down posts expressing racist sentiments, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel in an interview reportedly being published Friday.

“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 a newspaper in the interview, according to Reuters.

“The rules need to be implemented,” she reportedly said of the social network’s content policies.

Her comments come as concern rises in Germany over the prevalence of posts on Facebook targeting the refugees who are surging into Europe. Countries in Europe have debated what to do about the thousands of refugees, many of whom are fleeing Syria.

Germany’s justice minister has also raised concerns about whether Facebook is properly moderating posts expressing negative sentiments

“There must be no mistaken tolerance for users that offensively preach xenophobia and racism,” said Heiko Maas in a letter to the social network last month, according to Bloomberg. He expressed worries that “photos of certain body parts are automatically deleted because of moral concerns, yet racist and xenophobic statements aren’t immediately removed.” At the time, Facebook said it was taking his concerns seriously.

Social networks and Internet companies have long struggled with how best to deal with offensive content on their platforms. Many have also stepped up their anti-harassment efforts in recent years in response to complaints that they were not doing enough to police content targeting individuals.

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