Hate on the netConsistent prosecution necessary

In recent years, hatred, incitement and insults on the Internet have come under greater legal and political scrutiny. Not least because acts of violence such as those in Christchurch, Halle and Hanau cannot be considered without preceding radicalization processes on the Internet. The legal situation in Germany is relatively clear, depending on the criminal offense. A recent experiment by ZDF Magazin Royale shows that there are significant differences in the prosecution of hate on the Internet depending on the federal state.

"Mei, it's just the Internet!" is the reaction of a police officer from Bavaria when a correspondent for ZDF Magazin Royale wants to report hate comments from the Internet. In Saxony-Anhalt, another correspondent doesn't even get as far as filing a complaint, but is turned away before even reaching the police station. The latest episode of ZDF Magazin Royale with satirist Jan Böhmermann is about hate on the net and the question of how law enforcement is implemented in the 16 German states. For the experiment, seven real hate comments were documented on popular online platforms and reported to the police by correspondents of the show in all federal states. Among the criminal offenses were the dissemination of anti-constitutional symbols, incitement of the people, and incitement or approval of criminal acts.

In Germany, the police and the public prosecutor's offices of the federal states are responsible for prosecuting criminal offenses on the Internet. However, the results of the experiment show that there are clear deficits here. The satire show's experiment now has consequences. In some federal states, investigations are being initiated against police officers for obstruction of justice. ZDF Magazin Royale has compiled all the information and results of the experiment in a "law enforcement atlas" at tatütata.fail.

Together against hate on the net

Hate and incitement in social networks, online forums and comment columns are a problem for society as a whole and threaten diversity of opinion and democracy. Defamation, insults and incitement to hatred are not covered by freedom of expression and should be punished as criminal offenses. Regardless of whether you are confronted with hate comments yourself or perceive them as an uninvolved person: You should always report hate speech on the respective platforms or to recognized hotlines and file a report.

Click here for an overview of "Hotlines and initiatives against hate speech".

Our checklist shows the necessary steps to document hate speech.

Educate about hate on the net

Numerous initiatives offer materials to raise awareness of the topic ofhatespeech and thus prevent it. klicksafe also has a number of formats on offer:

  • With our #lauteralshass video series, teachers can address hate speech in the classroom. Prominent YouTubers describe their experiences with hate comments and give tips on how to deal with them. A supporting worksheet contains suggestions for carrying out practical projects with young people.
  • Fake news, conspiracy theories and hate speech threaten our democracy. Should we therefore delete the Internet? That's what well-known influencer Jokah Tululu asks in our infovideo "Does the web threaten our democracy?" and gives young people tips on how to deal with it.
  • The klicksafe quiz for young people provides knowledge about hate, incitement and discrimination on the Internet.

Facts and figures on hate speech

klicksafe topic area on Hate Speech

The klicksafe topic area on Hate Speech contains information about forms of Hate Speech, the legal situation and measures to promote a culture of communication. In addition, a variety of materials and initiatives against Hate Speech are linked.

Further information and reporting options on the topic of hate on the web