• 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
Commerzbank to make one in five staff redundant by 2020
Photo: DPA

Germany's second largest lender Commerzbank said on Thursday it plans to cut 9,600 jobs by 2020 and withhold dividends to pay for a €1.1 billion restructuring.

Germany's favourite smoker wins battle against eviction
Photo: DPA

How a pensioner with a serious smoking habit won a years-long fight for his right to keep his home - and his favourite pastime.

Thousands evacuated after WWII bomb found in Cologne
File photo of a Second World War bomb: DPA

Several thousands people were being evacuated from a district of Cologne just north of the old town on Thursday morning, after a Second World War bomb was found in a parking lot.

Kidnapped German journalist and her baby freed in Syria
File photo of a Syrian soldier: SANA/DPA.

A German woman who was kidnapped in Syria last year while she was pregnant has been freed along with her baby, the German Foreign Office said on Wednesday.

Air Berlin to cut 1,200 jobs and halve airline fleet
Photo: DPA.

Struggling Air Berlin, Germany's second-largest airline, announced on Wednesday a major restructuring plan that shrinks its fleet and cuts 1,200 jobs.

Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
Photo: Thomas Wolf/Wikimedia Commons.

From stunning chalk-white cliffs to fairy tale castles, Germany has some breathtaking sights to see, perfect for social media.

Train evacuated as passenger flips out during ticket check
Police at the scene in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

A regional train was evacuated in Leipzig on Wednesday after a passenger became aggressive during a ticket inspection.

Man arrested in Wuppertal as part of Spanish Isis raids
Police detain the suspect in Wuppertal. Photo: DPA

Police have arrested five suspected members of an Isis cell in Spain, Belgium and Germany that spread propaganda for the group online, the Spanish interior ministry said Wednesday.

Germans cut home energy usage by six percent in a year
Hamburg at night. Photo: DPA

The Energiewende is the German government's ambitious policy of drastically reducing carbon emissions. New figures show one remarkable success.

Merkel party MP under fire for using Nazi propaganda term
Bettina Kudla. Photo: Büro Bettina Kudla MdB/DPA.

A member of Angela Merkel's conservative CDU party is in hot water after tweeting over the weekend a Nazi propaganda term in her criticism of the country’s refugee policies.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
6,545
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd