The motto of November for the history-conscious is usually “Never Forget”. On 9 November, the GGI initiative wanted to remember the victims of National Socialism with a press release on Kristallnacht and the Hitler putsch in Bavaria in 1938. The broadcast was also supposed to appear in the initiative’s Facebook group — but Zuckerberg’s network doesn’t believe in a culture of remembrance, so the post was quickly removed. What’s going on here?
The GGI Initiative wrote in its November 9 press release:
Is the culture of remembrance undesirable? Facebook removes memorial articles about November massacre
Today we published a communique in memory of the countless victims of the November massacres and National Socialism.
The article was removed from Facebook within seconds – without any comment or notification. On the second attempt to publish, the message appeared:
“This post violates our community standards against spam.”
It is not clear from the message why Culture of Remembering the November Massacre is classified as spam. The article was released only after formal objection.
Digital Services Act leads to excessive censorship
Since the introduction of the Digital Services Act on August 25, 2023, we have seen that such incidents are no longer uncommon. Often, despite objections, there is no action. Articles that are clearly subject to freedom of expression are often removed. The specific reasons for the decision have not been disclosed. However, it is clear that automated programs are at work here that react to keywords.
However, if posts containing the words “Hitler” or “National Socialism” are censored across the board, a culture of remembrance is no longer possible on social media. This not only prevents the publication of prohibited material, but above all prevents the desired discussion on important topics.
The November massacres, as well as the institutional discrimination and degradation of Jews since the 1930s, ultimately led to genocide. The culture of remembrance should contribute so that this dark chapter is not forgotten. This is even more important these days!
Politicians need to maintain freedom of expression and information and implement appropriate safeguards to ensure that legal content is not censored.
Madeleine Petrovic says, “It cannot be in the government’s interest to prevent commemorative culture through censorship on social media.” “Ensuring the right to freedom of expression is a constitutional obligation. I see an urgent need for action, especially in large social networks.
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