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Czech Republic: Law should prevent xenophobia online but will be hard to enforce

Prague, 4.6.2014 20:54, (ROMEA)
News server EuroZprávy.cz reports that the Czech administrators of Facebook do not consider this page, entitled
News server EuroZprávy.cz reports that the Czech administrators of Facebook do not consider this page, entitled "Gypsies to the gas chambers, fags!" (Cikáni do plynu !buzeranti!) to be racist. (Photo: Print Screen of the Facebook page)

The clogging of virtual space with vulgarities, xenophobic outbursts and identity theft is a problem not just for online social networks, but also for all kinds of online discussion forums beneath articles and videos. Laws are now being developed in the Czech Republic to prevent such excesses on Facebook and in other corners of the digital world.

News server ECHO24.cz reports that experts admit the enforceability of such law remains problematic. Facebook sometimes agrees with the many people who complain of such behavior and takes action on its own to remove inappropriate content.

However, such action usually takes a long time to see through. Initial complaints almost always receive an automatic response that the pages complained about "do not violate community principles".

That was the message received by the ROMEA organization when it recently reported a Facebook page called "We Don't Want Gypsies Here" (Nechceme tu Cikány) that was full of racist invective. "I received the response that the page was in order, so I wrote to Facebook several times after that, but I always received a rejection," says Jana Baudyšová of ROMEA.

The Facebook page did not disappear until eight days after ROMEA's request and just one day after an ECHO24.cz reporter drew the attention of Gabriella Csehová, Facebook's Strategy Director for Central and Eastern Europe, to the racist profile. In an interview with the news server, Csehová has claimed that communication is improving between Facebook and those who complain about its content, even as users of the social network have recently been insisting the opposite is in fact the case.  

As recently as April it was possible to respond to Facebook directly when requests to remove hateful profiles were rejected. The company would offer to communicate further and request details.

Now this is no longer possible. Users must now write completely new complaints in order to appeal such decisions, and those appeals practically always receive rejection.

voj, server ECHO24.cz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Tags:  

Facebook, Racism, Sociální sítě, Xenophobia



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