Feeds

German Wikipedia attacked over Nazi symbolism

Politician files charges

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Updated A German politician has filed charges with Berlin police against Wikipedia's German language site on the grounds that it contains "too much Nazi symbolism, particularly an article on the Hitler Youth movement".

Katina Schubert, a deputy leader of the Left party, told Reuters she'd sought legal advice before making her move, explaining: "The extent and frequency of the symbols on it goes beyond what is needed for documentation and political education, in my view. This isn't about restricting freedom of opinion, it's about examining what the limits are."

Schubert said she "hoped [the action] would encourage public debate on how far internet platforms should be allowed to aid proponents of extremist, anti-Semitic, and racist ideologies". She added: "There are signs neo-Nazis are trying to take advantage of such structures, and this needs to be stopped in good time."

Displaying Nazi symbols is illegal in Germany, but they are permitted for "educational and artistic purposes". Arne Klempert, managing director of Wikimedia Deutschland, duly countered: "We don't really know what Ms Schubert's problem is. What's important is the context the symbols are used in, and here it's quite clearly education and documentation.

"Anyone who tries to prevent the Nazi period being documented properly has a strange understanding of the world, in my view. Because that's the best weapon there is [to prevent] something like that from happening again."

Members of Schubert's own party also weighed in to defend Wikipedia. Heiko Hilker, a Left party media expert in Saxony's state parliament, said: "Katina Schubert fails to grasp the self-regulating mechanisms that work in Wikipedia. Right-wing extremism on the World Wide Web cannot be tackled via national criminal proceedings."

Police will now pass Schubert's charges to state prosecutors, who will decide on any further action, Reuters notes.

Updated: It seems Katina Schubert has now withdrawn her complaint following discussions with Wikipedia staff. Her primary concern was that images could be easily re-purposed because they were online rather than in books. There's more, in German, here. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.