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September 18, 2015

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According to media reports on September 15, 2015 Facebook has agreed to work with Germany's ministry of justice to prevent and remove xenophobic and hate-based posts on the social media website. The growing influx of refugees in the country has raised concerns about the rise of anti-foreigner comments in Germany on Facebook and other social media platforms. The ministry is reportedly setting up a task force with Facebook and other social media networks to identify criminal posts and remove them. Facebook had earlier announced partnering with the Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Multimedia-Diensteanbieter (FSM), an independent group that monitors multimedia service providers. 

Analyst Comment: Pinkerton recommends major social media websites and web-based services with mass outreach to review posts and spaces that are being misused to spread intolerance, hate or xenophobic speech. While social media platforms provide a forum to discuss and debate multiple issues facing societies in a liberal and open environment, there exists a need to maintain balance between free versus hate speech, particularly where brand reputations are at stake. Multinational companies cater to international clientele and represent diverse interests and viewpoints. 

Prepared by: Ajay Vaishnav, India

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