Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had been inadvertently recorded telling German Chancellor Angela Merkel that he intends to censor anti-migrant posts from appearing on the social network.
During a lunch at the United Nations summit in New York, Merkel asked Zuckerberg whether Facebook would censor negative comments about “the wave of Syrian refugees entertain Germany”, and in response the Facebook CEO said that Facebook “need[s] to do some work” in its censoring of anti-immigrant posts by its users.
“Are you working on this?” asked Merkel in English.
“Yeah,” responded Zuckerberg before the dialog was cut by introductory comments to attendees at the event.
Hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees have traveled to European countries over the past two weeks as they seek asylum from the Syrian civil war. With Germany being Europe’s largest economy, it has shouldered much of the burden and could take in as many as one million people this year who are seeking refuge from war and poverty, according to Bloomberg. While many Germans have welcomed the newcomers, there has also been widespread objection within the country.
Earlier this month, Facebook said it would begin removing racist content from the German version of its website by joining forces with a nonprofit German Internet watchdog to monitor for hate content.
Under German law, it is illegal to publicly incite hatred or violence against ethnic or religious groups or to assault their dignity, according to the Daily Dot.
“We are committed to working closely with the German government on this important issue,” said Debbie Frost, a spokeswoman for Facebook, in an email, reported Tech Times. “We think the best solutions to dealing with people who make racist and xenophobic comments can be found when service providers, government and civil society all work together to address this common challenge.”