German Wikipedia attacked over Nazi symbolism
Politician files charges
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Updated: It seems Katina Schubert has now withdrawn her complaint following discussions with Wikipedia staff.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. ®
@The Other Steve (aka “dickwad”)
No one said, “Freedom comes with responsibility to only use it for things that I think are OK”. I think the idea is that speech needs to be limited when, in the eyes of the demos, it is being used against the common good or to unjustly harm a minority group. Are you clever enough to see the difference between this idea and the one you are throwing a fit about? You also assert one shouldn’t suggest that speech needs to be used responsibly because doing so makes one look like a “prick.” In other words, you assert that it is indecorous to say that speech needs to be responsible. How bizarre is that? You write an indecorous message and then suggest decorousness should regulate the speech behavior of those who don’t agree with you about the meaning of “free speech.” You then state, “That's the real power of freedom of speech in any form, it allows really stupid people to unmask themselves for all to see,” and for this I must commend you, for your statements themselves give us such a wonderful example of the principle. I am not sure if you are “immune” to logic, but at the least you’ve made it obvious that you are ignorant of it.
".... it's an ideal not a given, so stop banding it around like we're all entitled to it, some of us clearly shouldn't be entitled to it, especially if their main aim is to use it to harm others."
Oh for fucks sake, another one of the "Freedom comes with responsibility to only use it for things that I think are OK" idiots.
I'd argue the toss with you, but I really can't be arsed, you're clearly immune to logic.
I love it when you sad fuckers make this argument, never seeming to realise what an utter prick you are making of yourselves in the process.
That's the real power of freedom of speech in any form, it allows really stupid people to unmask themselves for all to see.
Carry on, dickwad.
Re: History repeating?
"They say that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it...
You know who else tried to erase things that didn't make Germany look too great from the History books?"
Mr. Campbell, you are a dumbwit. That whole country is plastered with memorials and museums about the Holocaust. It is simply not allowed to go and brandish flags with swastikas.
That may or not be right, but so far there are no reports from Germany about princes going to parties in Nazi attire.