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1930s in social media

by DoDo Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 03:30:08 AM EST

After the surrender of the Syriza government in the Eurozone vs. Greek democracy battle, the focus of European public opinion shifted to the new wave of refugees. And it gets even uglier than in the case of Greece. Especially in Germany, where xenophobia in public speech is fast on its way to catch up with and surpass Britain or the Netherlands, now going into terrorism territory. Last week, the outspoken commentary of a German TV journalist triggered a debate on on-line racism:

German TV presenter sparks debate and hatred with her support for refugees | World news | The Guardian

Anja Reschke used a commentary slot on Tagesthemen, the nationwide news bulletin of German public broadcaster ARD,to lambast hate-filled commentators whose language she said had helped incite arson attacks on refugee homes.

She said she was shocked at how socially acceptable it had become to publish racist rants under real names.

"Until recently, such commentators were hidden behind pseudonyms, but now these things are being aired under real names," she said.


In a follow-up interview in Die Welt (of all places), Reschke says:

Anja Reschke über ihren "Tagesthemen"-Kommentar zu Flüchtlingen - DIE WELT Anja Reschke on her "Tagesthemen" commentary about refugees - DIE WELT
...Wir Journalisten kriegen irre viele Zuschriften, und ich finde, dass sich der Ton im letzten Jahr massiv verschärft hat. Das ging mit der Ukraine und Griechenland los und weiter mit Pegida und den Flüchtlingen. Man wird regelrecht überschwemmt mit üblen Kommentaren....We journalists get a ridiculous amount of letters, and I feel the tone has worsened massively in the last year. This started with Ukraine and Greece and continued with Pegida and the refugees. We are downright swamped with nasty comments.

This is interesting for two reasons: one, Reschke acknowledges (even if passingly) the uninhibited xenophobic anti-Greece hate-mongering and connects it to what is traditionally and more widely recognised as racist hate-mongering; two, she claims an escalation based on something quantifiable (hate mail received by journalists).

As for publishing racist rants on-line under real names, Reschke is not the only one writing about this. In a commentary on SpiegelOnline, Sascha Lobo not only says that a new wave of arson attacks on refugee homes would deserve the "terrorism" tag, but extends it to the self-reinforcing on-line movement of 'alarmed citizens' who now set up closed Facebook groups to warn each other about the appearance of foreign-looking people in their neighbourhood.

Media critic Thomas Lückerath tried to get Facebook to take down racist postings, including ones calling for outright murder, but was rebuffed in each single case, with ridiculous arguments (the postings they do bother to take down are erotic ones).

Meanwhile, another on-line activist, Heinrich Schmitz, declared surrender after someone called police in his name, telling them "he" just killed his wife, leading to a police search. Schmitz thinks this attack was a reaction to his public support for the re-launch of a petition against refugee home attacks, which was first taken down by its original initiator after an anonymous caller threatened to kill his family members, citing their names and addresses. Schmitz justifies his provocative surrender with losing hope in his cause, seeing the meagre public support for pro-refugee activism and the reluctance of personal friends to take risks against the angry mob.

Rechte Hassbürger und Meinungsfreiheit: Nicht mehr den Arsch aufreißen für meine lieben Mitbürger - Politik - TagesspiegelRight-wing hate citizens and freedom of opinion: No more busting my ass for my dear fellow citizens - Politics - Tagesspiegel
Ich habe kapiert, dass die ,,schweigende" Mehrheit der Bevölkerung am liebsten ,,schweigt". Dass sie keineswegs mit dem Hass auf den Straßen einverstanden ist, aber lieber hinter den Gardinen steht, statt selbst auf die Straße zu gehen. Dass die Frau an der Spitze dieses Landes das Schweigen zur Regierungsmaxime erhoben hat und sich gerade deshalb alternativloser Beliebtheit erfreut. Dieses Schweigen wird über kurz oder lang zu einem ,,Schweigen der Lämmer" werden. Es soll dann nur niemand behaupten, er hätte nichts gewusst oder er habe nichts tun können. Ich habe es oft genug gesagt. Das ist jetzt vorbei.I understood that the "silent" majority of the population prefers "silence". That they don't agree with the hatred on the streets at all, but will rather stand behind the curtains than going on the street themselves. The fact that the woman on top of this country elevated silence to with the government's maxim and enjoys a popularity without alternative for just that reason. This silence will be sooner or later turn into a "silence of the lambs". But no one should then claim that he had known nothing or he couldn't do anything. I've said it often enough. That's over now.

Display:
I should note the different perspective I have on this: that escalation of on-line racist hate and the withdrawal of the silent majority(?), unchecked (or even fuelled) by the 'centre'-right and on-line media, happened in Hungary about a dozen years earlier.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 03:31:25 AM EST
More explicit Greece link, from another of Spiegel's on-line pundits:

Flüchtlingspolitik in Europa: Der Rassismus war nie fort - SPIEGEL ONLINERefugee policy in Europe: Racism was never away - SPIEGEL ONLINE
Wenn man aber, wie gerade in der Griechenlandkrise, auf einmal wieder nationalistische und rassistische Vorurteile verwendet, darf man sich nicht wundern, wenn in diesem hämischen bis hasserfüllten Geist auch auf Flüchtlinge reagiert wird. Wenn man nur von Regeln redet und nicht von Hilfe, wie in der Euro-Krise, dann muss man sich nicht wundern, wenn dieses Reden auch auf die angewendet wird, die in Not sind.If however, as just done in the Greece crisis, you are using nationalist and racial prejudice once again, then you should not be surprised if people react to refugees in the same sardonic to hateful spirit. If you only talk about rules and not about help, as in the euro crisis, then you should not be surprised if this speech is also applied to those who are in need.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 05:19:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have censored myself on Facebook here in the USA because I don't want to get into vituperative flame wars about abortion as the Repugnant Party here slides over into no abortions, no exceptions, no value to the lives of women campaign policies.

Having a couple of Republican Facebook friends, I notice that whenever I say something critical of the Party's policies, there is an almost immediate personal attack.  The object is to insult me, the person, without any real response to the issue or my criticism of it.  

I am more careful now as a) I don't want to get caught up in such a waste of time and b) I don't want to set myself up as a target.

Watching the EU refugee situation from a distance, partially because it's a clear result of US policies in the Middle East and because it's a global problem which will only get worse as climate change kicks in harder.

Time to reread Sebastian Haffner's Defying Hitler?


Solar IS Civil Defense

by gmoke on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 04:58:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Time to unfriend your Republican friends.  Anyone who responds to a policy debate with a personal attack needs to grow up.  The problem, to date, is that there have been no consequences for those who mouth right wing or racist stupidities, and such stupidities will continue until those consequences mount.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 07:40:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The only person I unfriended on Facebook was someone I know fairly well who, at the height of the Iraq Stupidity, was making "jokes" that felt more like threats.

Now I ignore the personal insults (although I'm surprised why people feel the need to argue by insult and play debate as a blood sport to  hurt your feelings rather than destroy your arguments) and try to be measured and polite.  So far, that's worked in keeping a dialogue going.

I'm looking for places of agreement, if at all possible.

Solar IS Civil Defense

by gmoke on Wed Aug 12th, 2015 at 10:05:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 12th, 2015 at 07:32:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Propaganda works.  

Goebbels and the Nazis learned quite a lot from Edward L Bernays and Ivy Lee.  They tapped into something deep that's still active.

We are seeing the same thing here with "Mexican" migrants.  Some Republicans even approach exterminationist rhetoric towards Democrats as well.  Everybody is the enemy or the ENEMY on the eve of Armageddon, and many here take the Bible literally (at least in public) and are primed for the Second Coming, The Rapture, and Heaven.  Permanent crisis for the adrenaline rush in the Society of the Spectacle.

Solar IS Civil Defense

by gmoke on Wed Aug 12th, 2015 at 10:14:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Goebbels and the Nazis learned quite a lot from Edward L Bernays and Ivy Lee.

Edward Bernays - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In his 1965 autobiography, Bernays recalls a dinner at his home in 1933 where

Karl von Wiegand, foreign correspondent of the Hearst newspapers, an old hand at interpreting Europe and just returned from Germany, was telling us about Goebbels and his propaganda plans to consolidate Nazi power. Goebbels had shown Wiegand his propaganda library, the best Wiegand had ever seen. Goebbels, said Wiegand, was using my book Crystallizing Public Opinion as a basis for his destructive campaign against the Jews of Germany. This shocked me. ... Obviously the attack on the Jews of Germany was no emotional outburst of the Nazis, but a deliberate, planned campaign.[30]

`Poison Ivy' Lee and propaganda

The second principal accusation against Ivy Lee is based on the well-documented fact that Lee acted as an unpaid public relations adviser to Nazi Germany in the early 1930s.

Miller and Dinan cite sources that record a meeting between Ivy Lee and both Adolf Hitler and German Foreign Minister Herman Goebbels during a visit to a German business client in 1934. According to the reports Lee was introduced to the Nazi ministers by Dr Max Illgner, the Managing Director of I.G. Farben, whose company he was advising at the time (Hiebert, 1966).

Lee reportedly advised Goebbels to cease propaganda efforts in the United States and urged him to meet personally with foreign diplomats and press in an effort to establish better relations with them. According to the US Ambassador to Berlin at the time, William Dodd, Goebbels followed that advice to the letter in the course of a conciliatory speech

You learn something new every day!

Everybody is the enemy or the ENEMY on the eve of Armageddon, and many here take the Bible literally (at least in public) and are primed for the Second Coming, The Rapture, and Heaven.

Sadly, you don't need Millenarianism. You know what was the biggest shock for me on 9/11? At the time, I frequented an atheist forum that was international but dominated by Americans. And suddenly, a couple of fellow posters, even friends, whom (I thought) I knew well from years of discussions and who seemed rational up until then switched into "nuke Afghanistan" mode, and it became clear they mean it as the forum descended into flame wars. Then after the Cheney-Bush regime and Faux News ratcheted up the propaganda drive, these same people turned into full-on hate-mongers who could discuss nothing else. (IMHO there was a connection to the fundies: in my observation many of the most doctrinaire American atheists are ex-fundies turned libertarians who are seething with anger at the lies they were told as children but don't notice that some of the attitudes remained.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Aug 13th, 2015 at 03:42:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I tried to arrange a dialogue for the local public access TV between Chomsky and Bernays once upon a time.  Approached both men and got an initial agreement.  In preparation read Bernays' autobio, Biography of an Idea: Memoirs of Public Relations Counsel.  Bernays said he admired Chomsky but asked for a copy of Chomsky's book, Manufacturing Consent, before setting a date.  I bought a copy and gave it to him but, after reading it, Bernays backed out.

If memory serves, Bernays met Goebbels in the 1920s and Goebbels expressed his admiration for Propaganda, another book by Bernays.

Permanent crisis
for the adrenaline rush
in the Society of the Spectacle.

That seems to be how it works.

Solar IS Civil Defense

by gmoke on Thu Aug 13th, 2015 at 03:43:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is one angle of this debate in Germany which I ought to add.

Back in 2000, there was a fire-bombing of a synagogue in Düsseldorf. Then chancellor Gerhard Schröder reacted by calling for an Aufstand der Anständigen, that is, an "uprising of decent people", which led to the organisation of several protests (which ended when two Arab-Germans were caught as culprits). In her TV commentary, Anja Reschke called for another Aufstand der Anständigen.

What remains to be seen is whether a second large-scale Aufstand der Anständigen will now form. It didn't happen over Greece or Pegida (and Merkel is no Schröder to call for it).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 05:39:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gauck could call for it, too.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 12th, 2015 at 04:02:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, Gauck...

By Merkel's logic, one disincentive is that it would mean conflict with the Bavarian CSU. And, as Süddeutsche said:

Ressentiments gegen "Armutsflüchtlinge" - Viel zu tun für die Anständigen - Kultur - Süddeutsche.deResentment against "poverty refugees" - much to do for the decent ones - Culture - Süddeutsche.de
Der Appell von Fernsehjournalistin Anja Reschke gegen Fremdenhass könnte verpuffen - weil die Ressentiments etwa von der CSU verstärkt werden.The appeal of television journalist Anja Reschke against xenophobia could fizzle out - because the resentment is being amplified by the CSU, for example.
...Ressentiments gegenüber den sogenannten Armutsflüchtlingen, von denen sich viele, nicht nur Hardliner, wünschen, dass sie unser Land auf schnellstem Weg wieder verlassen, werden von der gegenwärtigen Politik nicht etwa hinterfragt, sondern oft sogar verstärkt. Etwa durch die CSU, die schon Anfang 2014 eine sachlich kaum zu begründende Kampagne gegen Einwanderer aus den EU-Ländern Rumänien und Bulgarien startete und zuletzt spezielle Abschiebelager für Flüchtlinge vom Westbalkan ankündigte.... Resentment towards the so-called poverty refugees - who face the desire of many, not only hardliners, to leave our country again in the fastest way possible -, are not just not challenged by current politicians, but often even amplified. For example, by the CSU, which launched a hardly justifiable campaign against immigrants from the EU countries Romania and Bulgaria back in 2014 already and just recently announced last special deportation camps for refugees from the Western Balkans.

And now there is this:

Kritik an Alexander Reissl - München - Süddeutsche.deCriticism of Alexander Reissl - Munich - Süddeutsche.de
Aussagen des Münchner SPD-Fraktionsvorsitzenden Alexander Reissl zur Flüchtlingssituation sind innerhalb seiner Partei auf heftige Kritik gestoßen. "Wir sollten nicht suggerieren, dass alle Flüchtlinge bei uns willkommen sind", sagte Reissl und forderte, zwischen verschiedenen Flüchtlingen zu differenzieren. SPD-Parteikollegen zeigten sich am Dienstag verärgert bis entsetzt über diese Aussagen und betonten, dass die Haltung Reissls keineswegs der Meinung seiner Fraktion entspreche.Statements of Munich SPD faction leader Alexander Reissl about the refugee situation met upon strong criticism within his own party. "We should not suggest that all refugees are welcome here", Reissl said, urging to differentiate between different refugees. On Tuesday SPD party comrades showed themselves angry to appalled by these statements and stressed that the Reiss's attitude does not correspond the opinion of his faction at all.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Aug 12th, 2015 at 05:31:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if it was only Bavaria... It isn't. Here is the CDU Saxonia demanding a "discussion" of Schengen, and trying to be at least as tough on refugees as the AfD which has been doing the same all along. And it is not only Bavarian SPD politicians who cosy up to the racists: The SPD in general is careful not to exclude racists and racism. Fascism always grows in the centre of a society, not on the margin.
by Katrin on Thu Aug 13th, 2015 at 04:00:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And Sigmar Gabriel's ham-fisted attempt to woo Pegida participants pales in comparison to what Helle Thorning-Schmidt did during the campaign for Denmark's elections this year, or what Manuel Valls did in office when he was interior minister.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Aug 13th, 2015 at 05:14:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 26th, 2015 at 10:57:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Merkel broke her loooong silence. Sigmar Gabriel was there two days earlier. With the following result:

German party receives far-right threats after refugee visit - Yahoo News

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) were forced to evacuate their headquarters on Tuesday after receiving a bomb threat and flood of racist emails and phone calls the party said were linked to leader Sigmar Gabriel's visit to the eastern town of Heidenau.

...Gabriel, who is also vice chancellor and economy minister in Chancellor Angela Merkel's government, traveled to the town on Monday and denounced the "mob" behind the violence.

...The center-left SPD, which shares power with Merkel's conservatives, said that in the 24 hours after Gabriel's visit it had received 300 emails with "misanthropic" content and about 150 calls in which its employees were insulted and threatened.

I don't think the SPD leadership will deny that on-line violent racism reached a markedly new quality and that it is linked with a specific new wave of off-line violent racism.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Aug 26th, 2015 at 11:31:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you say so.

(Of course, you don't need "online"at all for this reaction. Just a tv set and then a telephone.)

by IM on Thu Aug 27th, 2015 at 05:24:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, justice minister Heiko Maas (SPD) is definitely past denial:

Facebook must ban abusive content, says German Justice Minister Maas | News | DW.COM | 27.08.2015

Heiko Maas wants Facebook to better enforce its community standards to rein in abusive users. Given the recent rise in anti-migrant and xenophobic posts, he has called for a meeting with Facebook's European managers.

...In the letter, which he sent to Facebook's European head office in Dublin as well as to its German subsidiary, he says the social media site's community standards needed to be more efficient and transparent.

In the wake of the recent openly xenophobic and hateful attacks on and protests at refugee camps in Germany, Maas said that the Justice Ministry had received many complaints about abusive content not being banned on Facebook.

Often, users get a message saying that the posts they reported did not violate Facebook's community standards without giving any further explanation "even in very obvious cases," according to Maas.

He says this standard response had become a "farce" and that users were struggling to understand why Facebook is quick to ban nudity, for example, referring to its community standards, but often fails to ban xenophobic and racist posts.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Aug 27th, 2015 at 10:41:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I almost linked that but rightly suspected you would complain anyway.
by IM on Thu Aug 27th, 2015 at 11:04:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"rightly"?

I don't see DoDo complaining.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 27th, 2015 at 11:22:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I was complaining about IM's denial, even after his party leadership caught on.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Aug 27th, 2015 at 11:38:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure, it's an online problem.
by IM on Thu Aug 27th, 2015 at 11:59:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Huh...

DoDo:

it is linked with a specific new wave of off-line violent racism


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 27th, 2015 at 12:20:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 26th, 2015 at 10:57:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And according to the Postillon, Sachsen-Anhalt will change its name to just Anhalt, to stop people confusing them with the state where such attacks occur.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Aug 26th, 2015 at 11:36:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There was even a call for "Säxit (Saxony's exit from Germany). But, as argued here, the problem is not limited to Saxony. For example, Erfurt's SPD mayor wants to prevent "another Heidenau" by calling for a string of harsher measures against refugees, including denial of school education for children until their request is processed... As the Süddeutsche op-ed says, he fell on his knees in front of the right-wing mob.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Aug 26th, 2015 at 02:34:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The best reaction to the on/off-line anti-refugee hate-mongers I saw so far is the one by comedy duo Joko und Klaas:



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Aug 27th, 2015 at 03:19:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is a darkly ironic episode of the on-line xenophobic shitstorm.

The one region in the German language area where you'll find unabashed patriotism is South Tyrol. This is also the reason for the controversy around South Tyrol rock band Frei.Wild (a name with an untranslatable dual association: frei, wild means "free, wild"; Freiwild means "fair game"). Two years ago, the controversy led to the withdrawal of the band's nomination in Germany's most prestigious music awards (ET reported).

Now Frei.Wild surprised everyone (most of all their fans) with an unconditional and fiery pro-refugee statement, in which they name AfD und Pegida by name and declare that they don't want support for such types.

The comment section is a shitstorm of the anti-refugee mob, who instantly excommunicated the formerly "proper patriotic" band, accusing them of buckling under left-wing media pressure or selling out or committing treason. Hilarious and nauseating.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Aug 26th, 2015 at 02:59:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Blogger Marie von den Benken wrote a very long and thorough article on the subjects covered in my diary, on the occasion of being personally affected. She was insulted on Facebook by an anti-refugee idiot using his real name, which she made public. What did Facebook do? They closed her account! (This because some far-right troll sent them an email claiming she is posting under a false name.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Aug 26th, 2015 at 03:43:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"This is interesting for two reasons: one, Raschke acknowledges (even if passingly) the uninhibited xenophobic anti-Greece hate-mongering "

Does she? Read again:

"This started with Ukraine and Greece and ´"

In other word this came from people thinking themselves ion the left. Not that Putin-supporters are in any way on the left...

It is fascinating that you detect xenophobia only in Germany and only in social networks.

Quite a walk in the park in other countries , what?

Take your last example: The technique of swatting was actually invented in the US.

by IM on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 05:13:36 AM EST
It is fascinating that you detect xenophobia only in Germany and only in social networks.

LOL, blatantly wrong on both counts. And all your other comments can only be characterised as derailments. Are you incapable of discussion without completely distorting your detractors' views?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 05:22:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"derailment", that I learned on facebook too, is the typical excuse of conspiracy theorists and other losers as soon as I shoot holes in their arguments. Perhaps you could respond on the issues instead of grunt lol and get personal as usual.  
by IM on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 05:38:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 Are you incapable of discussion without completely distorting your detractors' views?

Back to you. Aside from derailment and whining about nationalism - always the "nationalism of others, of course - you haven't engaged with a single argument yet.

by IM on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 05:41:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is fascinating that you detect xenophobia only in Germany and only in social networks.
IM's unintentional comedy, again.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 05:50:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
arguing on the merits, as usual.
by IM on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 05:57:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDO is Hungarian and has criticised Hungarian xenophobia loudly and often.

Your interventions in this thread are an example of not arguing on the merits.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 06:17:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The hallmark of nationalist commentators here is that they only ever register criticism of their own group. You can ridicule and eviscerate every other government, media sphere and people and they'll never notice, but criticise their in-group and they'll complain you're picking on them.

It's always been so.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 06:35:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
shouting "nationalist" isn't an argument either.
by IM on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 06:49:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it's an observation. And a flag indicating that there's no real point engaging, the other party is in defence mode and can't hear you.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 07:00:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rather an cheap excuse to evade any engagement.
by IM on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 07:11:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So much for "no name calling" Hypocrite.
by IM on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 05:59:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do I have to enumerate all the times you have engaged in name-calling and ad-hominem in this thread alone, while accusing others of same?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 06:17:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. You won't find any example.
by IM on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 06:26:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you've done enough to defeat your own cause.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 06:29:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Another non-argument.
by IM on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 06:45:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"We're not as bad as the US!"

Congrats-a-fucking-lations.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 06:39:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, but some things are rather international. And swiftly imported by right-wingers of other countries
by IM on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 06:47:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IM:
you detect xenophobia only in Germany

Did you bother to read DoDo's seed comment identifying xenophobia first and foremost in his own country, Hungary?

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 08:45:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the comment, not the diary. And I still think his implicit claim, that Germany moves into a FIDESZ/Jobbik direction, is wrong. And I have pointed out, why.
by IM on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 08:49:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IM:
but some things are rather international. And swiftly imported by right-wingers of other countries

You have certainly pointed that out.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 08:56:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So?
by IM on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 12:24:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So do you consider Germany as one of those "other countries" or not?

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 12:46:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course. So?
by IM on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 12:47:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the comment, not the diary.

What kind of excuse is that? You made a general claim about me (which you should know to be wrong), not a claim about the diary body. Besides, the diary body itself contains a reference to Britain and the Netherlands... and we haven't even mentioned my supposed blindness to off-line xenophobia (incidentally, also referred to in the diary body).

This obviously never appeared to you, but the a propos of the diary was simply that I read the quoted articles in quick succession. If you have read similar pieces in French or Italian media, you are free to share them, too. (Supposing you read them like I read German media.)

Now, getting back to the subject matter: why is it that you spend so much time insulting people at a small international blog without influence, rather than fighting this new wave of xenophobia, on major German news sites or off-line?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 10:59:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Now, getting back to the subject matter: why is it that you spend so much time insulting people at a small international blog without influence"

That is our subject matter? And cheap trolling too: If I waste my time here, what are you doing here?

"rather than fighting this new wave of xenophobia, on major German news sites or off-line?"

Mere assumptions and rather vile ones too. How could you know that?

by IM on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 12:15:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IM:
I still think his implicit claim, that Germany moves into a FIDESZ/Jobbik direction, is wrong. And I have pointed out, why.

I haven't found in your comments where you discuss that "implicit claim" and point out why it's wrong. Perhaps you can enlighten me.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 12:46:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by IM on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 01:00:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In what way do those establish or contradict an "implicit claim" in DoDo's writing?

You do argue against the title "1930s in social media" by saying that in the '30s the racism was in the (German) mainstream media, which is true, (though I'd add that it's possible that the role of social media was at least partly played at the time by public meetings, rallies, beerhall meetings, youth organisations, etc). I'd agree that the 1930s parallel can be strained. However, it's not as if today's mainstream media are blameless, to take mass-circulation "news"papers like Bild for an example, or similar huge circulation outlets in the UK.

But I still don't see the Fidesz/Jobbik "implicit claim", or your refutation of it.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 03:24:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The parallel to the 1930s may be strained, but it's also a headline in Heinrich Schmitz's "capitulation": Eine Kapitulationserklärung: Seite 2 - Vieles erinnert an die 1930er Jahre.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 12th, 2015 at 04:06:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Understandable in his Situation, but still wrong.

He is rightly worried that his petition only draws 55.000 supporters, but in the flood of online petitions that is still a good number.

by IM on Wed Aug 12th, 2015 at 05:53:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He doesn't talk about the 1930s because his petition is not getting enough support. Or not principally. The reference to the 1930s is about something else. First DoDo's "reluctance of personal friends to take risks against the angry mob". And then
Es sind ja auch nur die leeren Flüchtlingsheime die brennen, nicht unsere Häuser. Und wenn als nächstes die Flüchtlinge selbst brennen, dann geht uns das doch gar nichts an. Wir gucken lieber DSDS und außerdem fängt nächste Woche ja die Bundesliga wieder an. ,,Lass mich doch in Ruhe mit Deinem Politkram, uns tut doch niemand was. Übertreib doch nicht. Die Gefahr sind doch nicht die besorgten Bürger, die Gefahr ist der Islam, der Ami, der Jude, der Euro, der Fremde."
Ja, mit Ausnahme von Euro, DSDS und Bundesliga, wird man Ähnliches in den 30er Jahren auch gehört haben.
It's only empty refugee homes to burn, not our houses. And when next the refugees themselves burn, it will also be none of our concern. We prefer to watch DSDS ["Germany's got Talent" (?)] and moreover the Bundesliga bagins next week. "Leave me in peace with your politics, nobody is doing anything to us. Don't overreact. The danger is not the 'concerned citizens', but Islam, the American, the Jew, the Euro, the foreigner"."
Yeah, with the exception of the Euro, talent shows and the Bundesliga, one would have heard very similar things in the 1930s.


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 12th, 2015 at 06:42:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"We prefer to watch DSDS ["Germany's got Talent" (?)] and moreover the Bundesliga bagins next week. "

High brow nonsense. I bet there are a lot of refugee helpers who watch cheap Entertainment, includng Football. Perhaps even together with refugees. Who after all are human beings too and not just abstractions.

"It's only empty refugee homes to burn, not our houses. And when next the refugees themselves burn, it will also be none of our concern."

Well, not in my name.

by IM on Wed Aug 12th, 2015 at 07:11:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You do argue against the title "1930s in social media" by saying that in the '30s the racism was in the (German) mainstream media, which is true,

And that mainstream media in most european countries would never take the positions it did take in thirties is a qualitative difference.

 (though I'd add that it's possible that the role of social media was at least partly played at the time by public meetings, rallies, beerhall meetings, youth organisations, etc).

Different expressions of the same underlaying ideology. But the expressions you mentioned demand a lot more engagement. Another qualitative difference.

 "I'd agree that the 1930s parallel can be strained."

Or is simply wrong.

 "However, it's not as if today's mainstream media are blameless, to take mass-circulation "news"papers like Bild for an example, or similar huge circulation outlets in the UK."

Again, much worse in the nineties. Especially if we look at not just Bild, but also e. g. Spiegel.

"But I still don't see the Fidesz/Jobbik "implicit claim", or your refutation of it. "

If you don't want to see...

by IM on Wed Aug 12th, 2015 at 06:03:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And that is simly uttermost nonsense:

 "seeing the meagre public support for pro-refugee activism "

There is pro-refugee activism in any county, almst any village in germany. An<body who has experinced the early nineties in Germna ycan't deny thta the response this time is much better.<p> And after all Germany takes in more refugees then all eastern european countries combined. You can add ten western european countries and that is still true.

by IM on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 05:17:30 AM EST
Is a nationalist defence of your country the only angle you can see to the whole subject matter?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 05:23:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As usual going on the personal attack.

You do know that this is happening all over Facebook?

And yes: If we ignore the then not existing internet, the climate was much worse in the nineties.

The internet and especially social media just make long existing attitudes visible.

Perhaps you could reflect on that.

by IM on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 05:36:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As far as the 1930 are concerned: What is now expressed in social media was back then in mainstream media.

And: This time there is another side - you mentioned some of their proponents. There wasn't one in the thirties.

by IM on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 05:55:18 AM EST
IM - I am German by birth and parentage and only became an Irish citizen as an adult when I choose to make my home in Ireland.  I have no animus against Germans or Germany whatsoever and many of my relatives still reside there.  Germany doesn't have a monopoly on nationalism or xenophobia even if it has one of the most unfortunate histories of it.  It is also the most powerful nation in the EU.  That should make us doubly vigilant concerning any upsurge of nationalism there.

The EU was designed to divert nationalist tendencies into a greater European whole, so it is no surprise that those invested in the European ideal should be especially critical of nationalist tendencies. Be assured that we are also critical of nationalist tendencies at home - you have never seen me voice support for Sinn Fein, even though they are now re-inventing themselves as the major Irish party of the left...

So lets be less sensitive about criticisms of our home countries polity and politics.  To criticize Germany is not to exonerate all others... Germany is currently only the leader of a tendency in Europe that we all deplore - having had a very positive record since 1945. I hope you share our disappointment that that is now sadly the case.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 07:15:37 AM EST
"I hope you share our disappointment that that is now sadly the case."

Not really.

  1. people being unchained, uninhibited on facebokk  - perhaps especially racist ones - is a worldwide phenomenon

  2. I lived through the xenophobic wave in reaction to refugees from south-eastern and eastern Europe in Germany in the early and mid nineties. And it was much worse  then.(part of my alternative cilivian service was done in refuge home) The reaction of the general population is much more positive now.  

  3. I tend to believe in the iceberg theory: xenophobia was always there and is more or less unchanged. It is just because of social media etc more visible.

  4. This has not much to do with Greece.
by IM on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 07:57:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You have the advantage on me in that I have not lived or spent much time in Germany in a very long time.  So I cannot comment on your observations about what the general population thinks, or whether it is better or worse than in the 1990's.

What I can comment on is the effect that the German government is having on EU politics more generally.  Having been a force for moderation and v. supportive of EU policies and transfers in terms of regional, integration, social cohesion and development funds, it now takes a v. hard line on the development  of such mechanisms.  

We are used to this attitude from UK Tories and certain east European leaders, but they have been marginal to the development of the EU as a whole which has tended to be driven by a German-France axis. What is new is that the German Government is now leading the change politically as well as leading the charge towards unsustainable economic policies.  It is hard to envisage Brandt or even Schmidt take a similar attitude towards Greece, for instance.

We owe a lot to German governments for their constructive role in the development of the EU.  Unfortunately the current government is now undoing much of that good work, and I don't see much prospect of a Green/Linke/SPD alternative with much more progressive policies emerging.  Perhaps that is where you can set us right.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 10:17:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder how much fb comments are hateful towards immigrants, and how much would be left if fb outlawed hate speech.
Sometimes it seems like the eu wants racial strife so it can have excuses for cracking down.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 08:05:18 AM EST
Er, what has the EU to do with Facebook's practice of leaving racisms and hate speech untouched while cracking down on naked skin and things resembling naked skin?
by Katrin on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 08:17:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU is permitting it to flourish and is therefore complicit.
What's the point of having hate speech laws if they are so commonly and casually flouted? Either the laws have to catch up with social media or they are countenancing its most vital, viral form.
Add fiascos like Calais and Italian policies I blogged about here before and it is increasingly apparent that current policies are disingenuous to put it mildly.

Social strife is the most used excuse for privation of human rights, historically.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Aug 12th, 2015 at 05:12:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that an EU competence?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 12th, 2015 at 06:44:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here are the comments highlighted in Lückenrath's linked post:

  1. From a group account named "Against Asylum Seekers in Germany": "With a hole in the back of the head, some people would at least be useful as nest boxes."

  2. From someone called Karsten Kiens: "I just say, damn pack of vermins... we should open the [concentration] camps again, it is time... this is our country"

  3. From someone called Torsten Hädicke [grammatical errors not translated]: "Here in the Passau Corner it's very bad. They arrive like flies, I also heard, and then they walk along road B12. Police can't control that any more, hence my appeal: 'clean roads in Germany', is what truck drivers should keep in mind!"

IOW, outright calls for murder are okay with Facebook's "community standards".

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 10:49:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why on earth do national governments not insist on FB taking down hate speech which is in infraction of national legislation?

As far as I know, FB is not sovereign territory; and even Google can be forced to take down stuff.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 02:56:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed. There are laws against hate speech, calls for murder and the like. These laws need to be enforced. We should be wary of supporting Facebook's position that it has the right to set "community standards" and that's that. That only leads to standards that demand the censorship of photos of cup cakes. I want to see democratically adopted law applied.
by Katrin on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 04:13:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here the goal should not just be to keep racists from expressing their views in public, but to keep them from banding together on some pages (like in that closed Facebook group 'warning' each other of foreign-looking people). What do you think is more effective: forcing corporations (by law of citizen action) to employ moderators to find and suspend such formations, or more direct action (state employees telling the company to suspend specific pages as done in other issues)?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Aug 12th, 2015 at 10:36:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You won't get proper law enforcement without massive citizen protests; Fjallström below explains why. So what needs to be done is protests against facebook etc. AND against prosecutors not doing their jobs. Corporations ARE already under the obligation to take reasonable measures against hate speech and the like. And as you say: it works more or less.
by Katrin on Wed Aug 12th, 2015 at 01:46:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a whole flood of articles on the subject of on-line anti-refugee hate speech now. Here are two relevant to our earlier discussion:

  • Süddeutsche lists cases when on-line hate-mongers were successfully sued or when they lost their appeal against being fired by their employers.
  • In an op-ed on Spiegel Online, a journalist tells his story with an abusive emailer who used his company email address, who was fired after his complaint (though he got that information half a year later).


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Aug 27th, 2015 at 11:36:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the pressure we need. I've seen a call on Twitter not to waste time with Facebook's "report" button, but to contact the companies whose ads are visible where hate speech appears. That might work even better.

I expect that Facebook will react sooner or later, but only in those countries where pressure is strong, and probably only as long as there is pressure.

by Katrin on Thu Aug 27th, 2015 at 02:31:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The position (real, not official) of Swedish police and prosecutors when it comes to murder threats online is that you can't investigate because the suspects might admit it (article in Swedish) and then they would have to go to trial. Which costs money.

Essentially the government has given up enforcing laws regarding slander, threats and hate speach online. They casually blame it on american corporations, but in reality it is just not a priority.

The police task force for online crimes are busy catching villains who watch movies without paying for it.

by fjallstrom on Wed Aug 12th, 2015 at 05:50:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Simply an enforcement Problem. very low priority.

Legally speech online is not different from speech elsewhere.

by IM on Wed Aug 12th, 2015 at 06:06:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A few high profile prosecutions followed by exemplary sentences could make that problem go away very quickly, or at least reduce it dramatically - if there was a will to do so...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 12th, 2015 at 08:23:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DLF journalists tried to visit Facebook's German office in Hamburg, because their attempt to get hate speech removed by the "report abuse" button failed. Next step, talking in real space...

Festung Facebook - Der Versuch eines Besuchs im deutschen FB-Headquarter | Deutschlandfunk - Korrespondenten

Um das Foto löschen zu lassen, hatten es die Kollegen aus dem Kölner Funkhaus schon mit Facebooks ,,Meldefunktion"  versucht. Aber Antworten auf diese Meldung bekommt man in der Regel erst nach zwei, drei, vier Tagen. Und viele beanstandeten Fotos bleiben auch nach einer Überprüfung durch Facebook online. Schließlich, so die häufige Begründung, würden sie nicht gegen die ,,Gemeinschaftsstandards" des Unternehmens verstoßen. Auf der Suche nach Facebook

Also mache ich mich mit dem Rad auf den Weg zu Facebooks Deutschland-Zentrale in Hamburg. Eine Telefonnummer hat die Firma nicht. Und auch keine Pressestelle. Jedenfalls keine, deren Nummer man durch ein paar Mausklicks recherchieren könnte. In dieser Hinsicht sind  Unternehmen aus der Rüstungsbranche oder Atomindustrie vergleichsweise offen und vorbildlich.

After a while they found the right address, but weren't let in. After they insisted too much, they were let in, but there was nobody to talk to except a reception clerk. In the end they could fill in a form that was then sent by fax to FB USA, and lo and behold, the offensive post was deleted.

Festung Facebook - Der Versuch eines Besuchs im deutschen FB-Headquarter | Deutschlandfunk - Korrespondenten

Und was wurde aus dem Foto, wegen dem ich meine Schnitzeljagd begonnen hatte? Es ist gelöscht. Entweder, weil die ,,Melde"-Funktion auf Facebook tatsächlich funktioniert hat. Oder, weil ich am Empfangstresen des Internet-Riesen ein Beschwerde-Formular ausfüllen durfte, das die junge Facebook-Mitarbeiterin dann nach Kalifornien ins Headquarter geschickt hat. Per Fax, ganz altmodisch.

Ich bin gespannt auf meinen nächsten Besuch bei Facebook in der Caffamacherreihe in Hamburg. Und ich hoffe, dass die Menschen hinter Facebook Deutschland den Spruch erst nehmen, der direkt am Empfangstresen auf einem Nelson Mandela-Poster steht: ,,Open all doors!" - Wobei die Frage bleibt, was genau damit gemeint ist: ,,Öffnet alle Türen in unser Unternehmen" oder ,,Öffnet alle Wohn-, Schlaf-, Badezimmer- und Küchentüren unserer Nutzer, unseres Nutzviehs!"?


by Katrin on Wed Aug 12th, 2015 at 03:23:22 PM EST
The reference to Kafka is right: this is funny in a hideous way.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Aug 12th, 2015 at 05:09:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 13th, 2015 at 05:03:06 AM EST
One detail worth to add, to explain the expectation on the beer hall owner to throw out some extremist guests even if they didn't misbehave: there is a campaign in Munich under the slogan "Munich is multi-coloured! In restaurants and hotels, too", whose participants promise to keep far-right activists out, and the beer hall in the story joined it.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Aug 13th, 2015 at 05:33:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This sort of campaign isn't new. There have been different local no beer for nazis campaigns for years. Important, I think, because that's the sort of social contacts racists use for recruiting.
by Katrin on Thu Aug 13th, 2015 at 06:26:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Racism is surprisingly mild even on social media when you consider the dangerous social experiment going on with this relatively fast&massive population change/colonisation/Cultural suicide.

I dont think it will stay that mild long as the imported failure get more obvious.

by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Thu Aug 13th, 2015 at 11:29:31 AM EST


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Aug 28th, 2015 at 09:39:59 AM EST


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