German lawmaker's anti-Muslim tweet prompts complaint

Randal Sanchez
January 3, 2018

Beatrix von Storch had both her Twitter and Facebook accounts frozen on January 1 for supposedly violating "hate speech" rules, after the political leader expressed her anger on social media at a New Year's greeting issued in Arabic by the Cologne Police.

Beatrix von Storch responded in anger to a tweet put out by the Cologne police in Arabic and other foreign languages wishing people a happy new year. The tweet did not obviously please the German MP who replied: "What the hell is happening in this country?"

Twitter reacted quickly by removing the account of Beatrix von Storch informing her that she violated the terms and conditions of the social media platform.

A leading German far-right politician is set to be investigated by police after she called Muslims "barbaric and gang-raping".

The argument over von Storch's tweet and a similar post on Facebook that she said was blocked in Germany coincided with the full entry into force on Monday of a law aimed at cracking down on hate speech on social networks.

Police said on Tuesday they filed a criminal complaint with prosecutors over suspected incitement. Why is an official police site tweeting in Arabic.

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Ever since Merkel's open-door policy has been in effect, "crime and violence have become a part of daily life in Germany", von Storch told Breitbart. "This is the end of the constitutional state". "The year begins with the censorship law and the submission of our authorities in front of the imported, marauding, groping, beating, knife stabbing migrant mobs, which we should get used", she posted on Facebook.

Prior to Germany's NetzDG law, Twitter claimed to already be making an effort to "reduce hateful and abusive content".

Social media companies that fail to remove illegal inflammatory comments could face up to 50 million euros ($60 million) in fines.

Her offensive tweet was posted amid an ongoing debate in Germany about how to tackle sexual assaults at events, with designated "safe spaces" for women established in Berlin both during Oktoberfest and New Year's Eve on Monday.

AfD party chief Alexander Gauland took aim at the new rules, calling it "censorship" and saying the new regulations are "Stasi methods that remind me of communist East Germany".

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