• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Zuckerberg 'hopes USA follows German example'
Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg 'hopes USA follows German example'

DPA/The Local · 26 Feb 2016, 16:09

Published: 26 Feb 2016 16:09 GMT+01:00

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was an inspiration and "definitely a model for the world," the 31-year-old multi-billionaire founder of the social network said.

"You need courage and humanity to grasp that there are people out there who need a home – and that to build a society in which no-one is excluded will be the best thing for the world in the end," he went on.

The Facebook founder might find his comments less welcome at home in the USA than in Germany, where 1.1. million asylum seekers arrived last year.

In the USA, dozens of state governors said last year that they would resist plans from the federal government to take in 10,000 refugees from Syria, citing terrorism concerns.

President Barack Obama has called the governors' fears "hysterical".

But Germany's at times difficult experience - including a wave of sexual assaults and petty crime by a mob largely made up of men of Middle Eastern or North African appearance in Cologne on New Year's Eve - has not helped the President's plans win favour with the American public.

SEE ALSO: Six months suspended: first verdict in Cologne NYE trials

200 to battle hate speech in Germany

Zuckerberg had to face up to German criticism, too, as many Facebook users in Germany have been flooding the network with anti-refugee comments up to and including threats of violence in recent months.

He has been under pressure to act on online hate since a brief meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel on the fringes of a UN gathering in New York in September 2015.

As well as the "town hall meeting" where he addressed leading German media figures on Friday, Zuckerberg's Berlin programme has also included a conversation with Peter Altmaier, Merkel's Chancellery chief and right-hand man on the refugee crisis.

Altmaier reminded the native New Yorker that because of its size and importance for many Germans, Facebook had a serious responsibility for the content it relays online.

"I'm optimistic that we can achieve a good result," Altmaier said on Thursday.

Story continues below…

"I don't think we've done a good enough job" on hate speech, Zuckerberg told the audience on Friday, adding that the company had now hired 200 extra people to moderate content posted in Germany – the first time he's set a concrete number.

But Zuckerberg said that Facebook bosses in Europe had hoped for a stronger fightback from opponents of hate speech – something repeatedly called for by public figures in Germany but that has so far had little impact.

"There is no place for hate speech on Facebook and in our community," he insisted.

SEE ALSO: Prank leaves Facebook 'Nazis' red in the face

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Chancellor Angela Merkel showing up French President François Hollande in a neighbourly battle of table manners. Photo: DPA.

Despite what stereotypes might have you believe, Germans aren't that different from the rest of us when it comes to social interactions. But these tips should at least help guide you through the minor quirks that come with your next dinner invitation.

Thugs' ‘dream cop’ in court for not investigating 100 cases
Fans at a VfL Bochum match set off flares. Photo: DPA

For three years a police officer in western Germany simply ignored many of the cases he was supposed to investigate. His trial started on Tuesday in Bochum.

Police arrest suspect in murder of Chinese student
Police secure the crime scene where Yanjie Lie's body was found on May 13th. Photo: DPA

Police have made an arrest in the case of a Chinese student murdered while she was out jogging a week ago, media reported on Tuesday.

Berlin thief shows heart in surprising act of kindness
Photo: DPA

Pickpockets are an ever more common phenomenon in the German capital. But sometimes they can surprise you.

Bayer's Monsanto bid
Monsanto takeover would be 'diabolical': environmentalists
An anti-Monsanto activist at a protest in Brandenburg in 2014. Photo: DPA

A proposed tie-up between Bayer and Monsanto has inflamed opinion in Germany where most people oppose genetically modified foods.

Why Greece is top of Germany's to-do list - again
Unemployed Greek workers with symbolically chained hands march on May 1st in Athens. Photo: DPA

Greece has been in the headlines more often this year for its front-line role in the refugee crisis than its finances – so just why is it top of Germany's agenda again all of a sudden?

Far-right AfD turns on itself over failed Muslim meeting
Jörg Meuthen. Photo: DPA

The co-leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany party has criticized his party colleagues after talks with Muslim leaders collapsed after just an hour on Monday.

Here's why Munich is worth 20 times more than Berlin
BMW's headquarters in Munich. Photo: DPA

The Bavarian capital leaves other German cities in the dust when it comes to where the highest-valued companies choose to plant their flag.

Bavaria tries to coax migrants into police force
Joachim Herrmann (cr) with police recruits in Nuremberg. Photo: DPA

Bavaria’s interior ministry has started a campaign to encourage more migrants to join up as officers of the law - whether they have a German passport or not.

Extremist violence 'exploded' in record year for refugees
Left-wing violence at the Blockupy protest in Frankfurt in March 2015. Photo: DPA.

It is now official: 2015 smashed all records for political violence, as the far right attacked refugee homes and the far left responded by attacking them in turn, Interior Ministry figures show.

Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that will stay with you forever
Technology
Church plans to connect with faithful at Wi-Fi 'Godspots'
Technology
Online hate speech can cost users thousands of Euros
Society
Bavarians in rush for non-lethal weapons licenses
Sport
Here's Germany's Mannschaft for Euro 2016
Culture
The Syrian pianist playing his way into Germans' hearts
The parrot who flew fast enough to trigger a speed camera
Business & Money
Surprise results give Germany strongest growth in two years
Technology
New law could let free Wi-Fi bloom across Germany
Politics
Berlin's plans to beef up the German army
Munich
The bloody knife attack that shocked a Bavarian town
National
Supermarkets must pay massive fine for fixing beer prices
Sport
Lufthansa's Euro 2016 ad takes aim at England
Culture
The 6 German words you need to know for spring
Culture
6 weird and wonderful ways Germans celebrate May 1st
Gallery
Feast your eyes on Germany in springtime bloom
National
4/20: Five things to know about weed in Germany
Berlin
Police break up hipster swarm at vegan restaurant opening
Politics
Merkel allows Erdogan case against German satirist to go ahead
Travel
7 of Germany's most jaw-dropping national parks
Hamburg
Gay penguins move to Hamburg to settle down
Business & Money
See-through €5 coin has collectors lining up
Health
Vegan hemp powder recalled over fear toddlers getting high
7,597
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd