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Twitter Censors German Neo-Nazi Group, Within Germany

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the they-must-hate-speech dept.

Censorship 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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Google censors (-1, Troll)

PieDaa (2755545) | about 2 years ago | (#41692167)

This is the first time Google has used its power of blocking users in specific countries

I think it's time to stop acting like Google cares about freedom of speech. With news like this one - where Google intentionally censors in certain countries - how can we trust what we see online?

Does anyone remember when Google pulled out of China because "they censored"? That was just pure bullshitting. Google pulled out of China because Baidu was the dominant winner and Google was losing money left and right. They failed to get marketshare and revenue in China and decided to pull that stunt.

Google, while promoting their "do no evil" mantra, has left themselves go. They are no longer the tech company I could say that I liked. To me, Google is dead.

Re:Google censors (5, Informative)

afidel (530433) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Google censors (4, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#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 (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about 2 years ago | (#41692439)

Yeah that's a good one to use the little flag button on.

Re:Google censors (2, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 2 years ago | (#41692377)

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

Is Twitter based in Germany, or a German company?

If not...why the fuck would they have to abide by any laws in Germany?

Re:Google censors (4, Insightful)

lxs (131946) | about 2 years ago | (#41692451)

Because they would like to do business in Germany.

Besides, fuck neo nazis.

Re:Google censors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692675)

Because they would like to do business in Germany.

Besides, fuck neo nazis.

Should Twitter also censor disparaging comments about Mohammed in Muslim countries?

Why should a social network become a content policeman?

Re:Google censors (4, Insightful)

lxs (131946) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Google censors (-1, Troll)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#41693569)

Uh, Germany? Hello? I think you have your imperialist narrative wrong. Report immediately to the Department of Anthropology at Berkeley University for re-education.

"Keep the Americans in, the Soviets out and the Germans down."
-- General Hastings Lionel "Pug" Ismay, 1st Baron Ismay, first Secretary-General Of NATO, stating the basic objective of the organisation.

Re:Google censors (5, Interesting)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#41693363)

Should Twitter also censor disparaging comments about Mohammed in Muslim countries?

If it's specifically illegal there, then unfortunately yes.

If you can't abide by the laws in a certain country, you shouldn't go there, and this applies to companies as well as individuals on holiday. It is up to the people in that country to choose their own laws.

Re:Google censors (5, Informative)

afidel (530433) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Google censors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692831)

They would rather block only the offending Twitter users in Germany than have all of Twitter blocked in Germany

Re:Google censors (-1, Offtopic)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#41692721)

Fuck Slashdot

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque tristique, eros quis mollis lacinia, odio ante cursus diam, ut tristique lorem felis id felis. Donec pharetra tempor magna ac eleifend.

twitter, not google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692229)

twitter, not google

(captcha: ridicule)

Re:twitter, not google (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692425)

Who cares what your captcha is?

Re:twitter, not google (1)

hazah (807503) | about 2 years ago | (#41692615)

It was relevant to this thread? Shills deserve nothing but, if anything at all.

Re:Google censors (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#41692243)

Or maybe it's a weird typo and they meant Twitter, not Google, and your rant is utter crap?

Re:Google censors (3, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 2 years ago | (#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 (2)

PieDaa (2755545) | about 2 years ago | (#41692459)

By the way, Google did not remove the anti-muslim video

Actually, they did censor it in many countries.

Re:Google censors (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41692773)

You're irrational, and can't read.

I was going to post something along the lines of what you and other commenters posted, but instead I'll point out that yes, (s)he's irrational, but as to being illiterate, that's the submitter. TFS does indeed say Google. It's a mystery why, but it is.

Re:Google censors (1)

DMiax (915735) | about 2 years ago | (#41692347)

Hello there, you funny trigger-happy "haterboy". This story is not about Google at all.

At first I thought it was the usual incompetence of the editors that let these mistakes fly through, but now I see the light and understand that they do it to uncover troll accounts such as yours. Long live the Slashdot editors!

Re:Google censors (1)

hazah (807503) | about 2 years ago | (#41692659)

Interesting if true.

Settle down, everyone. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692195)

It's nothing to raise a führer about!

Re:Settle down, everyone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692365)

Coffee and keyboard, sir. Coffee and keyboard.

+1 to this thread for Godwin in TFA

Re:Settle down, everyone. (0, Troll)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 2 years ago | (#41692393)

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

Re:Settle down, everyone. (4, Informative)

afidel (530433) | about 2 years ago | (#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).

Re:Settle down, everyone. (0)

Brannoncyll (894648) | about 2 years ago | (#41692585)

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

*Are* there any other countries than the US that guarantee free speech? Other countries always seem to have extra qualifications.

Re:Settle down, everyone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41693659)

Does the US guarantee free speech? It seems to me that every country puts limits of some sort in place. As a previous poster mentioned, Just yell "fire" in a movie theatre, or for a really fun time, talk about making bombs with your best friend next time you are walking through airport security.

Re:Settle down, everyone. (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about 2 years ago | (#41692611)

Well, different countries - different priorities. In the EU, for example, there exists a right to life, in the USA there is no such thing (otherwise death penalty would not be possible).

Re:Settle down, everyone. (2, Interesting)

readin (838620) | about 2 years ago | (#41692827)

Well, different countries - different priorities. In the EU, for example, there exists a right to life, in the USA there is no such thing (otherwise death penalty would not be possible).

Are you serious?? The EU has outlawed abortion? When did this happen?

Re:Settle down, everyone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692979)

You're assuming that a tiny collection of miscellaneous cells that could eventually become a living being under the right circumstances is a living being.

That's like saying all women must be pregnant at all times or else the tiny collection of cells (an unfertilized egg) that could eventually become a living being under the right circumstances must not be killed by going unfertilized.

"could eventually"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41693173)

You're assuming that a tiny collection of miscellaneous cells that could eventually become a living being under the right circumstances is a living being.

That's a nice way to rationalize murder, by pretending that a collection of cells that unless significant action is taken WILL BECOME a living being mean nothing more than the dust bunnies under your bed or clouds of stardust waiting to coalesce into planets.

I support abortion to a point but am not willing to pretend that when a woman is detectably pregnant you are not dealing with a "collection of cells" that are in fact a living being.

Is there no point before birth you are willing to admit a fetus is a distinct living entity?

Re:Settle down, everyone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41693111)

Some parts of the EU have. Abortion is not something that is arranged on EU-level, for precisely the fact that it is so controversial between different countries.

Re:Settle down, everyone. (0)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#41693427)

Well, different countries - different priorities. In the EU, for example, there exists a right to life, in the USA there is no such thing (otherwise death penalty would not be possible).

Are you serious?? The EU has outlawed abortion? When did this happen?

A foetus isn't alive, genius.

Or do you think it's murder when you wank into a tissue and flush it down the toilet?

Re:Settle down, everyone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41693697)

"Right to life" is often used by 'Pro lifers' in North America, and maybe elsewhere, however it does not automatically mean anti-abortion.

Re:Settle down, everyone. (2, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Settle down, everyone. (4, Insightful)

Marianne013 (1323185) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Settle down, everyone. (3, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Settle down, everyone. (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about 2 years ago | (#41693545)

20 millions is a cold war propaganda figure. Between 20 millions there, 20 millions of losses in WW2 and another 60 millions murdered by Stalin personally, there would be just 20 millions left by the end of 1940ies.

Re:Settle down, everyone. (2)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#41693343)

Article 5 of the German constitution

I guess they put in an asterisk:

* unless the government disagrees with your political speech.

Yup, like USA, Saudi, France, UK.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692647)

Just ask Bradley Manning how free free speech is.

Remember: "Bradley broke the law" is precisely what this dude in Germany is doing.

Re:Yup, like USA, Saudi, France, UK.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41693273)

So all privacy laws (HIPAA, etc) are violations of free speech? Holy crap you're a dumb fuck.

Re:Yup, like USA, Saudi, France, UK.... (2)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#41693619)

So all privacy laws (HIPAA, etc) are violations of free speech? Holy crap you're a dumb fuck.

Strictly speaking, yes they are. Issues like privacy show where the concept of absolute freedom of speech falls down. If I get hold of your medical records and want to publish them, you are interfering with my freedom to publish what I like by denying me that option. (Same for publishing classified material or whatever).

Re:Settle down, everyone. (2)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#41693581)

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

Bizarrely, the Germans have looked at the balance between absolute free speech and preventing a return to Nazism, and have come down in favour of the latter. Who'd have thought that a country responsible for the Second World War, the Holocaust and so on would think that it was a good idea never to be seen to be going back along that road at the expense of the theoretical civil rights of a bunch of lunatics?

And before anyone starts on the "first they came for the ..." argument, Germany isn't rounding up and executing these neo-Nazi fuckers. Unfortunately.

What? (2)

Bad Ad (729117) | about 2 years ago | (#41692205)

Google has nothing to do with this? twitter is censoring twitter

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692249)

I got confused too: after reading that summary I started searching the net to see if Twitter had been recently acquired by Google!

What the heck is that for a /. summary!?

Google? (2)

DMiax (915735) | about 2 years ago | (#41692213)

This is the first time Google has used its power of blocking users in specific countries

Aren't we talking about Twitter? ffs, it's in the title AND the previous sentence!

Re:Google? (1)

Bad Ad (729117) | about 2 years ago | (#41692251)

And its correct in the article.

Twitter, not Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692219)

Post mistakenly refers to Google

Google, Twitter, whatver (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692223)

It's not like you wannabe idiots know the difference, or anything about computers or software.

"But, but, but, I'm a level 92 night elf warrior", I can hear you protesting.

Re:Google, Twitter, whatver (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692793)

Nope, I'm a Night Elf Mohawk.

My two cents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692233)

I am German, for the record.

And I totally agree with Google. Let's go get'em!

www.weka-gartenhaus-holzprofi24.de

Genuine ambivalence (1)

Zemran (3101) | about 2 years ago | (#41692239)

This is both really good and really bad at the same time. Although I want these guys to be shut up, I do not agree that Google should censor opinions even if most of us find those opinions abhorrent.

Re:Genuine ambivalence (1)

Zemran (3101) | about 2 years ago | (#41692257)

Sorry, Twatter

Re:Genuine ambivalence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692309)

And how do you feel about Twitter censoring it's service?

Re:Genuine ambivalence (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692449)

This is both really good and really bad at the same time. Although I want these guys to be shut up, I do not agree that Google should censor opinions even if most of us find those opinions abhorrent.

It's not about free speech, nor about good or bad, it's about legal and illegal. Put a swastika, or even anything resembling a swastika, up publicly in Germany and you'll be arrested. Google/Twitter/whoever is merely following the law here.

Re:Genuine ambivalence (1)

Schmorgluck (1293264) | about 2 years ago | (#41693303)

This went to ridiculous levels with Wolfenstein 3D, which was banned in Germany [wikipedia.org] , even though the Nazis in the game were the enemy. Kinda contradicted the spirit of the law, IMHO, but the judges have to follow the statutes, whether well-worded or not.

Re:Genuine ambivalence (1)

readin (838620) | about 2 years ago | (#41693021)

This is both really good and really bad at the same time. Although I want these guys to be shut up, I do not agree that Google should censor opinions even if most of us find those opinions abhorrent.

I would be ok with it if Google/Twitter were simply saying "It's our service and we don't want to be a conduit for this kind of stuff." As a private business it is their service and if you don't like it you can use some other service. The problem is if they're doing it in response to the government. Deciding to use a different government is much harder and too often requires violence.

Re:Genuine ambivalence (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#41693641)

This is both really good and really bad at the same time. Although I want these guys to be shut up, I do not agree that Google should censor opinions even if most of us find those opinions abhorrent.

If the government won't shut them up, the people will. With their boots and fists. That's the only language these fascists understand anyway.

s/Google/Twitter/ (1)

bgarcia (33222) | about 2 years ago | (#41692259)

I did a double-take when reading that summary.

Yes! (4, Interesting)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#41692265)

We're going to show how the Nazis' censorship was wrong, by censoring...whoops...

Re:Yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692323)

Um, maybe you should brush up on your WW2 history.

Re:Yes! (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#41692383)

Evil is as evil does. Meaning: judge governments by their actions, not what they mean to achieve.

Re:Yes! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692473)

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

Re:Yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41693129)

Right. I think anon's point was that it wasn't censorship the Nazis were known for...

Re:Yes! (1)

AlterEager (1803124) | about 2 years ago | (#41692691)

Uh, censorship wasn't exactly the worst thing the Nazis did, and they don't get censored because of the bad things they did, but because their "speach" consists of incitement to hatred.

Re:Yes! (0)

readin (838620) | about 2 years ago | (#41692911)

Uh, censorship wasn't exactly the worst thing the Nazis did, and they don't get censored because of the bad things they did, but because their "speach" consists of incitement to hatred.

A lot of things should be hated and a lot of things should be loved. One of the purposes of free speech is to determine which is which. If "incitement to hatred" is the problem, would I be prosecuted for inciting hatred of the death camps? How about inciting hatred of terrorism? What if I incite hatred of the mindsets that caused the death camps and that cause terrorism? What if I incited hatred of the use of torture in combating terrorism? What if I incite hatred of Israeli settlements in the West Bank? Or how about if I incite hatred of illegal foreign settlements in Germany?

Should we be forbidden to talk about any of these because someone doesn't like the incitements to hatred?

Re:Yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41693109)

Uh, censorship wasn't exactly the worst thing the Nazis did, and they don't get censored because of the bad things they did, but because their "speach" consists of incitement to hatred.

A lot of things should be hated and a lot of things should be loved. One of the purposes of free speech is to determine which is which. If "incitement to hatred" is the problem, would I be prosecuted for inciting hatred of the death camps? How about inciting hatred of terrorism? What if I incite hatred of the mindsets that caused the death camps and that cause terrorism? What if I incited hatred of the use of torture in combating terrorism? What if I incite hatred of Israeli settlements in the West Bank? Or how about if I incite hatred of illegal foreign settlements in Germany?

Should we be forbidden to talk about any of these because someone doesn't like the incitements to hatred?

The law is specific, and a response to specific atrocities. Your hand-wringing hypotheticals are just silly.

Re:Yes! (0)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#41693409)

their "speach" consists of incitement to hatred.

And who gets to define "incitement to hatred"? Because I think the Republican Party here in the U.S. has a lot of speech like that too. Can I arrest them and still pretend to give a fuck about free speech, like you Germans?

Re:Yes! (1, Troll)

mvdwege (243851) | about 2 years ago | (#41693675)

Well, just about everyone with a reading level above kindergarten.

In case you hadn't noticed, Nazism calls for specific genocide on undesirables. If that isn't incitement, what is?

Mart

Re:Yes! (2)

Boronx (228853) | about 2 years ago | (#41692725)

What are you complaining about? We used to just kill them.

Google? You mean Twitter? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692267)

I'm not sure where the Google reference came from. This article is only about Twitter and not about Google. Hate Google all you want, but it has nothing to do with this article.

Slashdot, don't ever change (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692287)

15 years with no copyediting whatsoever

Typical Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692301)

Instead of you know educating people on hate speech , groups and crimes they would just rather sweep it under the rug.

Sensible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692339)

Sensible decision, seeing how neo-nazi activism is illegal in Germany.

Google??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692351)

But what does Google have to do with Twitter censoring? They are two separate companies. Successful /. troll?

Just complying with the law (5, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41692465)

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:Just complying with the law (-1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#41693449)

You forgot:

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

Re:Just complying with the law (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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.

possible compromise because of illegal content (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692483)

Certain topics regarding Neo Nazi views are illegal for public display in Germany, such as denying the Holocaust and other hate speech. I think this move by Google came about from pressure within Germany and the compromise was made to only block those views in Germany only while leaving it public to areas where those view are not illegal.

Here's an interesting thought. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692487)

Now releasing secret documents of a foreighn government is not illegal in that country.

So if Google had leaked info about, say, USA secrets, BUT BLOCKED THEM IN THE USA from being seen, would this be accepted?

All your twitter are belong to google... (1)

who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) | about 2 years ago | (#41692519)

oh they don't? they are two separate companies you say? interesting.

We'll get it right this time 'cause it's *us* (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#41692523)

The solution to using government to silence your opposition? Using government to silence your opposition!

But it's OK because my side, with its attendant historical righteousness for the ages, is in control of it.

Terrible summary (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | about 2 years ago | (#41692561)

1) Twitter and Google are not the same company. I'm not sure why both are mentioned.

2) This type of speech is illegal in Germany, and I doubt Twitter feels like putting up much of a fuss to fight in this instance. It makes sense that they'd censor it in the country it's not legal in.

This is a path to doom, but not the usual way (4, Insightful)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#41692567)

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.

Re:This is a path to doom, but not the usual way (3, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41692761)

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:This is a path to doom, but not the usual way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692821)

Are you seriously suggesting that an average German doesn't understand why Nazis are trouble?

My opinion as a German: Yes. Thanks to the state of the economy, education system and government, the Nazis are on the rise. And they always were a very vocal minority. The Communist Party is banned in Germany, not the Nazi Party.

First (2, Insightful)

Boronx (228853) | about 2 years ago | (#41692683)

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

Re:First (3, Insightful)

fredrated (639554) | about 2 years ago | (#41692757)

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

Re:First (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41693147)

Then they came for the child molesters and I didn't speak out because I don't have tenure at Penn State...

Re:First (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#41693309)

Then they came for the lawyers, and went home in the knowledge of a job well done.

HT to reader eldavojohn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692881)

What does HT stand for?

Re:HT to reader eldavojohn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41693043)

hat tip

Slippery slope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692887)

While neo-Nazis are about as likeable as NAMBLA, how far is Twitter willing to go with this 'country withheld content' feature?

Could someone fighting for women's rights in Saudi Arabia have her Twitter feed blocked in SA? Could a human rights campaigner in China have his feed blocked in China?

Not censorship (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41692921)

Twitter is a private (virtual) space which exists as software running on privately-owned servers.

This is not censorship but simply rules. It is equivalent to the rules I enforce in parties at my house. If someone came to my party and yelled "screw X (Jews, Muslims, whatever), they should burn and die to make room for the superior race", I would kick out that person prompto. My house, my rules. If you don't like my rules, feel free to find other friends and join other parties.

If some alternative hosts choose to be more tolerant than me, good for them. Maybe people will prefer to join my party ("strict"), or maybe people will prefer to join their parties ("tolerant" rules).

There is competition on features, and rules are just features.

Re:Not censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41693023)

I forgot to spell out a key argument why this is not censorship: there is no initiation of force.
Twitter does not ban this speech from other services, only its own.
Only governments can censor, since they have such power (illegitimate power in my opinion).

Re:Not censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41693075)

[citation needed]

Only governments can censor? Where in the fuck does that idea come from? Whether or not it it is acceptable [matter of opinion], yes, the textbook definition is met especially since, *herp* - THE DEFINITION DOESN'T SAY "except for when private companies do it" - it merely means to suppress ort edit out, which ANYONE can do. When they bleep out profanity on TV, that's called CENSORING, when they blur out images of nudity, that's called CENSORING, even though it is done by the station.

Are people really not doing their research these days? *sigh*

Re:Not censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41693045)

Censorship is defined by the act, not who is doing it. Consult a dictionary next time.

It may be an acceptable form of censorship, it may not be, but the textbook definition criterion is met. It doesn't, again, matter if Twitter is private or not, as the basic definition does NOT at ALL make that distinction.

I can post to it.... (2)

Froggels (1724218) | about 2 years ago | (#41693159)

I just accessed #BesseresHannover and posted a tweet and I am in Germany. I did however acquire my Twitter account in the US... I wonder if the are blocking it based on the user's IP address or user profile?

I hate censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41693423)

Really they should let these people tell the whole world what they think so that we all know who to roundly ridicule. Neo-nazis suck, but censorship sucks more.

see... Coffin Break - Stop (lyrics)

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