Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #298 Update on German Corporate Control Over American Media

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NB: This RealAudio stream contains FTRs 297 and 298 in sequence. Each is a 30-minute broadcast.

1. Beginning with a story about an award being given to Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Middelhoff, the program highlights some interesting aspects of German corporate control over the American media. “In a quiet watershed of Jewish philanthropy, the honoree at a UJA-Federation benefit dinner next month will be Thomas Middelhof, the chief executive of Bertelsmann, a German media conglomerate that published Nazi propaganda for Hitler’s army. Those who choose Mr. Middelhoff, to be honored at the Steven J. Ross dinner on May 15 stress that Mr. Middelhoff was born after the war and has investigated Bertelsmann’s past and made what reparations he could . . . . The $1,000-a-plate Ross dinner, at which Matthew Bronfman’s brother Edgar Bronfman Jr. was a previous honoree, attracts some of the most prominent corporate and media figures in New York. This year, Tom Brokaw, the NBC News anchor, will be the master of ceremonies and Stephen M. Case, the chairman of AOL Time Warner, will present the award . . . . Elie Wiesel, a writer and Holocaust survivor, will deliver the key-note speech. Last fall, random House, which is owned by Bertelsmann, pledged $1 million to the Holocaust Survivors’ Memoir Project, for which Mr. Wiesel is the honorary chairman. Mr. Wiesel is the honorary chairman. Mr. Wiesel said he agreed to speak because he trusted Mr. Middelhoff. ‘While it was in the end Random House that gave the money for the survivors’ memoirs, the agreement was with Bertelsmann, and it was Middelhoff who made the commitment,’ Mr. Wiesel said . . . . Not long after Mr. Middelhoff became chief executive in 1998, critical stories about Bertelsmann’s war history appeared in The Nation magazine and a Swiss magazine. Mr. Middelhoff then created an independent commission, headed by the historian Saul Friedlander, to look into the company’s past. In January 2000, the commission found that Bertelsmann had not opposed Hitler, as the company had previously claimed. Rather, it said, the company had ties to the Nazis, and was the largest supplier of reading material, including Nazi propaganda, to the German military. Three months later, Bertelsmann announced that it would contribute to the German fund to compensate workers used as slave labor in the Nazi era.” (“Past Collides With Closure as Jews Honor a German” by Tamar Lewin; New York Times; 4/30/2001; p. A18.)

2. The giving of this award to Middelhoff is ironic and grotesque in a number of different respects. (Much of the series on German corporate control over American media is devoted to Bertelsmann and there is an abundant amount of information on the firm in the other programs in this series.) The available evidence strongly suggests that Bertelsmann is part of the Bormann organization. (The economic and political component of a Third Reich gone underground, the Bormann organization controls corporate Germany and much of the rest of the world. It was created and run by Martin Bormann, the organizational genius who was the “the power behind the throne” in Nazi Germany. The Bormann group is a primary element of the analysis presented in the For the Record programs.)

3. Reviewing some of the salient aspects of the Bertelsmann firm, we highlight the grotesque quality to the granting of the award to Middelhoff.  (“Bertelsmann’s Nazi Past” by Hersch Fischler and John Friedman; The Nation; 12/28/98; p. 1.)

4. “Issuing more than 20 million volumes, Bertelsmann was the largest supplier to the army and supplied the SS. When Bertelsmann applied after the war for a second publishing license, it was turned down by occupation authorities. [Bertelsmann patriarch Heinrich] Mohn had ‘forgotten’ to mention that he had been a ‘passive’ member of the SS, as well as a supporter of the Hitler Youth and a member of the prestigious National Socialist Flying Corps, according to de-Nazification files in the central state archive in Dusseldorf.” (“Bertelsmann’s Nazi Past” by Hersch Fischler and John Friedman; The Nation; 12/28/98; pp. 1-2.)

5. As indicated in the New York Times article cited above, when the information about the firm’s Nazi past was printed in The Nation, Middelhoff formed an “independent” commission to investigate it. One of the appointees to that commission was Dirk Bavendamm (Bertelsmann’s official historian), whose work and views call into question the degree of separation that the company has effected from its Third Reich heritage.

6. “His book Roosevelt’s Way to War (Roosevelt’s Weg zum Krieg) was published in 1983. Rewriting history, he stated that Roosevelt, not Hitler had caused World War II. He also wrote that American Jews controlled most of the media,’ and he claimed they gave a false picture of Hitler. Did the book impress [Heinrich’s son Reinhard] Mohn, then the majority shareholder of Bertelsmann? The firm hired Bavendamm as its house historian, and in 1984 he completed a historical study, 150 Years of Bertelsmann: The Founders and Their Time—with a foreword by Mohn. A year later, Bavendamm edited the firm’s official history, which set forth the untrue story that the firm had resisted the Nazis and had been closed down by them. Mohn also asked Bavendamm to write the authorized history of the Mohn family, published in 1986 under the title Bertelsmann, Mohn, Scippel: Three Families—One Company. In a second book, Roosevelt’s War (published in 1993, reissued in 1998), Bavendamm accuses the U.S. President of enacting a plan to start World War II. In the same book he suggests that Hitler’s threats in early 1939 against European Jewry were a reaction to Roosevelt’s strategy against Germany. After the revelations about Bertelsmann’s Nazi past appeared, the company announced that it had asked ‘the historian and publicist Dr. Dirk Bavendamm to look at the new information and begin to reinvestigate the role the publishing house played in those days’ and defended his work.” (“Bertelsmann’s Revisionist” by Hersch Fischler and John Friedman; The Nation; 11/8/99; p. 1.)

7. In that context, it is interesting to speculate about Bertelsmann’s motives in backing the survivors’ memoir and contributing to the fund to compensate victims of the Third Reich. (Public relations considerations are probably paramount in this regard.) It is also interesting to note that the Bormann organization, to which Bertelsmann appears to belong, wields considerable in Israel and within that country’s support network abroad. “Since the founding of Israel, the Federal Republic of Germany had paid out 85.3 billion marks, by the end of 1977, to survivors of the Holocaust. East Germany ignores any such liability. From South America, where payment must be made with subtlety, the Bormann organization has made a substantial contribution. It has drawn many of the brightest Jewish businessmen into a participatory role in the development of many of its corporations, and many of these Jews share their prosperity most generously with Israel. If their proposals are sound, they are even provided with a specially dispensed venture capital fund. I spoke with one Jewish businessman in Hartford, Connecticut. He had arrived there quite unknown several years before our conversation, but with Bormann money as his leverage. Today he is more than a millionaire, a quiet leader in the community with a certain share of his profits earmarked, as always, for his venture capital benefactors. This has taken place in many other instances across America and demonstrates how Bormann’s people operate in the contemporary commercial world, in contrast to the fanciful nonsense with which Nazis are described in so much ‘literature.’ So much emphasis is placed on select Jewish participation in Bormann companies that when Adolf Eichmann was seized and taken to Tel Aviv to stand trial, it produced a shock wave in the Jewish and German communities of Buenos Aires. Jewish leaders informed the Israeli authorities in no uncertain terms that this must never happen again because a repetition would permanently rupture relations with the Germans of Latin America, as well as with the Bormann organization, and cut off the flow of Jewish money to Israel. It never happened again, and the pursuit of Bormann quieted down at the request of these Jewish leaders. He is residing in an Argentine safe haven, protected by the most efficient German infrastructure in history, as well as by all those whose prosperity depends on his well-being. Personal invitation is the only way to reach him.” (Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Manning; Copyright 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stuart Inc.; ISBN 0-8184-0309-8; pp. 226-227.)

8. It is ironic to note that Holocaust survivor Wiesel lauds Random House for its support for the survivors’ memoir. Random House’s behavior vis-à-vis a book authored by a key witness in Holocaust revisionist David Irving’s unsuccessful libel suit against Deborah Lipstadt and her publisher suggests that Wiesel’s accolades are, at the very least, premature. “[Queens Counsel and Lipstadt attorney Anthony] Julius won because the professor of modern history at Cambridge had demolished Irving’s scholarship. Richard J. Evans went through Irving’s sources and produced an exhaustive 740-page analysis which detailed how Irving had twisted evidence in the Nazi interest. Irving had censored himself as well as the past by cutting references to death camps from his early work when it was reprinted. Evans has written a book on the affair—Lying about Hitler: History, Holocaust, and the David Irving Trial. You are free to buy it in America and read the professor’s account of the case and reflections on historical interpretation. I’ve no doubt it is a serious study. Evans is the author of In Defense of History, a patient critique of the wild subjectivity of postmodernist theory. You were meant to be free to read Lying about Hitler in Britain. But last week, Evans’ publishers, Heinemann, a branch of the Random House conglomerate, ordered that the book should be pulped. [Justice] Gray’s verdict, which came after years of collecting evidence and months of cross-examination in an enormously expensive trial, might as well never have happened. Heinemann said they did not dare publish because Irving was appealing against Gray’s ruling. In fact, Irving has been refused permission to appeal, and it is that decision he is contesting. In the very unlikely event of Irving winning and the Court of Appeal agreeing to consider Gray’s condemnation, the crushing evidence against him should deny him victory. Granta Books certainly think so and snapped up Lying about Hitler. Granta didn’t ‘see any terrible legal nightmares’ and was ‘very enthusiastic and keen to publish.’ We shall still be able to make up our own minds about Evans’ writing. If the story stopped there, the moral of the censorship of Evans would merely be that robust authors should think hard before signing a contract with Random House.” (“Without Prejudice: A Ploy Named Sue” by Nick Cohen; The Observer [London]; 3/18/2001.)

9. The views and work of Bertelsmann historian Bavendamm and the actions of Random House subsidiary Heinemann in pulping the Evans book should be compared with the Nazi tract Serpent’s Walk.

10. Mr. Emory has dealt with this book extensively. Mr. Emory believes that, like The Turner Diaries (also published by National Vanguard Books), the book is actually a blueprint for what is going to take place. It is a novel about a Nazi takeover of the United States in the middle of the 21st century. The book describes the Third Reich going underground, buying into the American media, and taking over the country. “It assumes that Hitler’s warrior elite—the SS—didn’t give up their struggle for a White world when they lost the Second World War. Instead their survivors went underground and adopted some of their tactics of their enemies: they began building their economic muscle and buying into the opinion-forming media. A century after the war they are ready to challenge the democrats and Jews for the hearts and minds of White Americans, who have begun to have their fill of government-enforced multi-culturalism and ‘equality.'” (From the back cover of Serpent’s Walk by “Randolph D. Calverhall;” Copyright 1991 [SC]; National Vanguard Books; 0-937944-05-X.)

11. This process is described in more detail in a passage of text, consisting of a discussion between Wrench (a member of this Underground Reich) and a mercenary named Lessing. “The SS . . . what was left of it . . .had business objectives before and during World War II. When the war was lost they just kept on, but from other places: Bogota, Asuncion, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Colombo, Damascus, Dacca . . . you name it. They realized that the world is heading towards a ‘corporacracy;’ five or ten international super-companies that will run everything worth running by the year 2100. Those super-corporations exist now, and they’re already dividing up the production and marketing of food, transport, steel and heavy industry, oil, the media, and other commodities. They’re already dividing up the production and marketing of food, transport, steel and heavy industry, oil, the media, and other commodities. They’re mostly conglomerates, with fingers in more than one pie . . . .We, the SS, have the say in four or five. We’ve been competing for the past sixty years or so, and we’re slowly gaining . . . . About ten years ago, we swung a merge, a takeover, and got voting control of a supercorp that runs a small but significant chunk of the American media. Not openly, not with bands and trumpets or swastikas flying, but quietly: one huge corporation cuddling up to another one and gently munching it up, like a great, gubbing amoeba. Since then we’ve been replacing executives, pushing somebody out here, bringing somebody else in there. We’ve swing program content around, too. Not much, but a little, so it won’t show. We’ve cut down on ‘nasty-Nazi’ movies . . . good guys in white hats and bad guys in black SS hats . . . lovable Jews versus fiendish Germans . . . and we have media psychologists, ad agencies, and behavior modification specialists working on image changes . . . . But all we ever hear about are the poor, innocent Jews and the awful ‘Holocaust,’ when, in fact, there never was an ‘extermination policy,’ a ‘Final Solution,’ or anything like it!” (Ibid.; pp. 42-43.)

12. The vision of the future presented in this book should appear sobering under the circumstances. In light of this vision, the actions of Random House (and Bertelsmann) subsidiary Heinemann in destroying the Evans book and the views and actions of official Bertelsmann historian Dirk Bavendamm, the award given to Middelhoff would appear to be less than appropriate.

Discussion

3 comments for “FTR #298 Update on German Corporate Control Over American Media”

  1. […] FTR #298: German corporate control over american media […]

    Posted by Once Upon a Secret de Mimi Alford: Ramdom House se paie un Démocrate? | Lys-d'Or | February 8, 2012, 2:54 pm
  2. German publishing giant Axel Springer just gobbled up Business Insider and, according to the article below, despite the rather high price paid, Axel Springer’s appetite for more US media firms has yet to be sated:

    Mashable
    The German media barons who want to buy up more U.S. media companies

    By Jason Abbruzzese
    9/29/2015

    Business Insider founder Henry Blodget hadn’t ever really heard of Axel Springer until a year ago.

    Now, they’re his bosses.

    Axel bought BI on Tuesday in a deal that stunned many media watchers for its hefty $442-million price tag — almost double what Jeff Bezos paid for the Washington Post just two years ago.

    What is less surprising is the buyer. Axel Springer SE might not be a household name in the U.S., but it’s a major player in Europe.

    With imperial fervor to expand its scope to U.S. readers, Axel Springer has also been steadily investing in U.S.-based digital startups including Ozy.com, Mic.com and NowThis Media.

    Axel is based in Berlin, has about 14,000 employees and brought in around $3.4 billion in revenue in 2014. Its main holdings are in German newspapers including Bild, a tabloid, and Die Welt, a high-brow daily paper.

    Blodget made the admission about his early ignorance of Axel during a conference call following the announcement of the acquisition, noting that the company first came up on his radar when BI President Julie Hansen visited the company’s headquarters.

    Axel’s acquisition of BI immediately gives the German company a place in the U.S. digital media market. Many of the other major digital media startups including Vice, BuzzFeed and Vox have taken hundreds of millions of dollars in investments that have effectively made them too expensive for other companies to buy. BI remained among the few that were big enough to make a difference but affordable enough to go after.

    While most of Axel’s European holdings are of the legacy newspaper and magazine type, the company has been making inroads on digital media through a variety of investments.

    In October 2014, Axel made a $20 million investment in Ozy Media, a digital news startup. Its also dipping its toe in some pure tech such as its investment in virtual reality company Jaunt. Its digital properties now account for around 70% of its profits.

    Dan O’Keefe, general partner at venture capital firm Technology Crossover Ventures, which has stakes in other digital media companies, said that there is a clear fit between what Axel has been looking for and what BI does.

    “I thought it made a lot of sense,” he said. “It gives Axel Springer a nice toe hold in a completely digital, english-speaking property here in the United States.”

    Springer’s interest in business-focused media was laid bare when reports began to emerged earlier in 2015 that it was in talks to buy the Financial Times. It came as some surprise when it was outbid by Japanese media conglomerate Nikkei that ended up paying $1.3 billion for the salmon-colored institution.

    O’Keefe noted that there aren’t too many other companies like BI that have been able to capture a younger, online audience.

    “It’s challenging. Few have done it successfully,” he said. “I do think that assets such as those deserve a premium valuation.”

    That being said, Axel paid about nine times as much as BI‘s projected revenue for 2015 — considered pricey for this kind of media deal. On the other hand, it is far less than the price tag for the FT, which sold for nearly 35 times its profit.

    The deal had produced something of a narrative that Axel had settled for BI after missing out on the FT.

    Not so, said Axel Executive VIce President Christoph Keese.

    Keese said talks with BI began well before the FT situation, although he could not comment on Axel’s reported bid on the salmon-colored paper.

    As for where the company is headed next, Keese said Axel has kicked the tires on a wide variety of media companies in the English-speaking world. They’re not necessarily thirsting for another, but they’re far from out of the game.

    “We have looked into almost every interesting prospect on the US market that has been talked about for the past 18 or 24 months,” he said. “We decided not to go with some and we decided to go with others.”

    “As for where the company is headed next, Keese said Axel has kicked the tires on a wide variety of media companies in the English-speaking world. They’re not necessarily thirsting for another, but they’re far from out of the game.”
    So Axel Springer might be done with its current round of corporate feasting. Or not. It hasn’t decided yet. But if it does decide to make more inroads into foreign media markets, Axel Springer may find it has competition from the other German media giant with an appetite for foreign acquisitions, Bertelsmann. Although, since Bertelsmann appears to be trying to diversify away from publishing with its numerous purchases over the past year, competition with Axel Springer for foreign media firms may not be a problem:

    The Wall Street Journal
    Bertelsmann Says Its Buying Spree Isn’t Over
    Media giant’s many piecemeal deals are an effort to diversify amid challenges to publishing

    By Ellen Emmerentze Jervell
    May 5, 2015 12:05 p.m. ET

    BERLIN—Media conglomerate Bertelsmann SE & Co. is hedging its bet on publishing.

    The company last year spent more than €1 billion ($1.12 billion) world-wide on acquisitions, buying a television-production company, a service provider for fashion e-retailers, a logistics firm and a bill-collection agency. It also acquired U.S. e-learning company Relias Learning, paying roughly $540 million, according to a person familiar with the matter, marking Bertelsmann’s biggest American acquisition since it bought publisher Random House in 1998. Since early 2014, it has bought companies at a pace of more than one a month.

    “We want to diversify even more,” said Chief Executive Thomas Rabe. “We will keep up this brisk pace.”

    As a closely held company, Bertelsmann doesn’t have to appease activist shareholders, although it does have bondholders. Mr. Rabe says running a private company lets him avoid moving rashly, even as he reshapes Bertelsmann’s core media businesses for the digital age. He is gradually selling waning businesses like print-publishing and expanding in online video, through deals like the acquisition of Vancouver-based YoBoHo, a producer of family programming on YouTube, announced on April 21. As with its other acquisitions, terms weren’t disclosed.

    The question for Bertelsmann is whether scattering efforts over a wider area is smarter than a tight focus on publishing, especially when the publishing business is navigating tricky new Internet and e-book waters. An indication of how well Bertelsmann’s strategy is working may come Thursday, when it reports first-quarter earnings.

    Aside from a brief foray into chicken farming in the 1960s, diversification outside of the media industry is new for Bertelsmann. For most of its 180-year history, Bertelsmann was a book publisher. Founded in 1835, the company for a century published Christian literature and hymnals.

    In the 1930s it supported the Nazi regime, publishing nationalistic and sometimes anti-Semitic literature, and grew rich as the military’s main book supplier, according to an official company history. Shut by the Allies, Bertelsmann soon reopened, launched a book club and by the 1950s was booming.

    The book club recently closed, a victim of the Internet. Mr. Rabe believes diversification will help ensure Bertelsmann itself doesn’t share that fate. In light of that, Bertelsmann has moved into businesses including TV production, call-center operation, music-rights management and online education.

    Media still accounted for roughly 70% of Bertelsmann’s €16.7 billion in revenue last year. It is co-owner of the biggest consumer book-publishing company in the world, the Penguin Random House joint venture with Pearson PLC, hammered out in 2012. Online learning and service-outsourcing are relatively new fields for the company, but those two new “pillars” of its business already boosted company margins last year, said the 49-year-old Mr. Rabe. He aims to boost annual revenue to €20 billion within five years.

    Asked whether Bertelsmann is interested in taking full control of Penguin Random House, Mr. Rabe says that hinges first on what Pearson does. In October, Pearson will have the option to sell its stake, and Bertelsmann would then have the option of buying it. Bertelsmann hasn’t decided what to do, but says the book publishing business is doing very well, and that it seems sensible for Bertelsmann to take over the shares because publishing has been its core business for almost 200 years.

    Bertelsmann’s 2014 revenue was its highest in seven years. Its net profit, however, was hurt by one of its “declining businesses,” in Mr. Rabe’s words: the printing business. Revenue at its magazine publisher, Gruner + Jahr, also declined last year. Mr. Rabe said he is struggling to monetize the magazine business, but that he is “looking at ways to turn it around.” Bertelsmann is working on trimming down its printing business.

    Bertelsmann’s approach contrasts with some rivals that have been compelled by activists to pare ancillary operations. Once-sprawling French conglomerate Vivendi SA, for example, recently bowed to investor pressure and sold its videogames and telecommunications units—assets that accounted for more than half of its revenue—to focus on media.

    Mr. Rabe’s strategy gets support from the company’s shareholders: three foundations that together hold 80%, and heirs to founder Carl Bertelsmann, the Mohn family, who hold 20%.

    His acquisitions are possible in part thanks to some canny disposals. In 2000, Bertelsmann decided to sell its 50% stakes in AOL Europe and AOL Australia to America Online Inc. shortly before the dot-com bubble burst, pocketing fat profits. In 2008 it sold its 50% stake in the record music company Sony BMG Music Entertainment to Sony Corp. before online streaming gutted the music industry.

    Bertelsmann has been acquisitive for more than a decade, but it has been under Mr. Rabe that it aggressively branched out beyond media.

    The objective, Mr. Rabe says, is “finding the right segments” for investment.

    Soon after becoming CEO he identified education as a promising field, particularly online and in the U.S. In 2014, he bought a stake in online-course provider Udacity. Last year he designated education as one of Bertelsmann’s three future core businesses, alongside media and services.

    In the services segment, he expanded into businesses related to supply-chain management, payment processing and bill-collection for online businesses.

    Moving judiciously and taking the long view are hallmarks of private companies but “we know that being privately owned can bring problems,” said Zacharias Sautner, a finance professor at Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. With limited outside pressure, managers of diversified private firms face less scrutiny of decisions on how to allocate resources among divisions, he said. “Who’s to control that the money ends up where it should?”

    But criticism of diversification has come “under much rethinking” over the past decade, says Harvard Business School Professor Bharat Anand. While diversification may destroy value on average, he said “there are substantial differences across diversified firms” and his research indicates that up to 40% of diversified companies create value.

    Diversification “works very well for some, not at all for others,” said Prof. Anand, who has taught programs for senior Bertelsmann executives.

    Mr. Rabe said he is confident Bertelsmann is doing what is best for its owners.

    “I would say we’re already a very broad company,” he said. “But we want to become even broader.”

    “I would say we’re already a very broad company…But we want to become even broader.”
    Broadening Bertelsmann through further acquisitions also probably won’t be a problem.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 29, 2015, 5:44 pm
  3. Read this article from the November 4, 2016 Dailey Mail (UK) “Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg are investigated by German prosecutors for ‘failing to remove racist posts that violate anti-hate speech laws’ from Facebook”

    – The article is loaded with psychological inuendo The both the founder Marc Zuckerberg and his Chief Operating Officer are Jews an Americans who are the target in this article/investigation. This can subconciously cause a negative bias a liberal or anti -Nazi German Citizen.

    The following excerpt is sadly comical when one considers that Bertelsmann is owned by the Underground Reich.

    “They include what some might consider merely angry political rants but also clear examples of racist hate speech and calls to violence laced with references to Nazi-era genocide. Following a public outcry and pressure from German politicians, Facebook this year hired Arvato, a business services unit of Bertelsmann, to monitor and delete racist posts.”

    One has to ask the question if the Nazi linked Facebook investor Peter Thiele had any influence on this selection.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3906588/German-prosecutors-investigate-Facebook-hate-postings.html

    Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg are investigated by German prosecutors for ‘failing to remove racist posts that violate anti-hate speech laws’ from Facebook

    German prosecutors are investigating Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg over allegations that the site failed to remove racist posts.

    Attorney Chan-jo Jun has filed a complaint to courts in Munich alleging the company broke national laws against hate speech and sedition.

    Facebook’s rules forbid bullying, harassment and threatening language, but critics say it does not do enough to enforce them.

    The site has also been accused of failing to staunch a tide of racist and threatening posts on the social network during an influx of migrants into Europe.

    Prosecutors in Hamburg earlier this year rejected a similar complaint by Jun on the grounds that the regional court lacked jurisdiction because Facebook’s European operations are based in Ireland.

    A spokesman for Jun’s legal team said: ‘There is a different view in Bavaria.

    ‘Upon Jun’s request, Bavarian Justice Minister Winfried Bausback said that Hamburg’s view was wrong and German law does indeed apply to some of the offences,’ it said.

    Jun’s complaint named Facebook founder and chief executive Zuckerberg and nine other managers at the company, including Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.

    Facebook said it had not violated German law and was working on fighting hate speech online.

    A spokesman said: ‘We are not commenting on the status of a possible investigation but we can say that the allegations lack merit and there has been no violation of German law by Facebook or its employees.’

    Jun has compiled a list of 438 postings that were flagged as inappropriate but not deleted over the past year.

    They include what some might consider merely angry political rants but also clear examples of racist hate speech and calls to violence laced with references to Nazi-era genocide.

    Following a public outcry and pressure from German politicians, Facebook this year hired Arvato, a business services unit of Bertelsmann, to monitor and delete racist posts.

    A rash of online abuse and violent attacks against newcomers to Germany accompanied the influx of hundreds of thousands of migrants last year, which led to a rise in the popularity of the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and has put pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    Posted by Anonymous | November 5, 2016, 2:22 pm

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