CNET: Facebook: We’ve removed hundreds of posts under German hate speech law. “Germany kicked off 2018 with a strict law against online hate speech. The law allows for fines against tech companies, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, of up to $58 million (£44 million, AU$79 million) if they don’t remove offending posts within 24 hours of receiving a complaint. The law is also known as NetzDG.”
Nature: Dutch publishing giant cuts off researchers in Germany and Sweden. “Elsevier last week stopped thousands of scientists in Germany from reading its recent journal articles, as a row escalates over the cost of a nationwide open-access agreement. The move comes just two weeks after researchers in Sweden lost access to the most recent Elsevier research papers, when negotiations on its contract broke down over the same issue.”
BBC: Facebook ruling: German court grants parents rights to dead daughter’s account. “Germany’s highest court has ruled that the parents of a dead daughter have the rights to her Facebook account under inheritance law. The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) said online data should be treated the same as private diaries or letters, and pass to heirs. The case involves parents of a 15-year-old girl killed by a train in 2012.”
The Local DE: Virtual museum to immerse worldwide audience in history of German migration. “A museum which can be ‘visited’ online and looks at the history of migration in Germany was presented at the Documentation Center and Museum on Migration in Germany (DOMid) in Cologne on Monday. An employee at DOMid, the association which set up the virtual museum, told The Local on Wednesday that although an exact launch date has not yet been set, the museum will likely go live online in two weeks.”
Tribune India: 100 years later, voices from WWI. “Ten years ago, voice of Mal Singh, a prisoner of war from the First World War, came to India. Held captive at the Half Moon Camp in Germany, the man was batting for hope, remembering the good times in India — the butter he would eat and the milk he would drink…. He was desperate to return home, but doubted if he ever would.” Some of these testimonies are now on YouTube.
New York Times: Germany Acts to Tame Facebook, Learning From Its Own History of Hate. “Security is tight at this brick building on the western edge of Berlin. Inside, a sign warns: ‘Everybody without a badge is a potential spy!’ Spread over five floors, hundreds of men and women sit in rows of six scanning their computer screens. All have signed nondisclosure agreements. Four trauma specialists are at their disposal seven days a week. They are the agents of Facebook. And they have the power to decide what is free speech and what is hate speech.”
Arizona State University: ASU scholars save priceless manuscripts from obscurity. “‘You never think you’re going to discover an unknown library ever in your career,’ said Corine Schleif, Arizona State Univeristy professor of art history. She and Volker Schier, a musicologist and visiting faculty at the Institute for Humanities Research, were leading the fortuitous scholars on a tour of European women’s monasteries. The Altomuenster monastery, just northwest of Munich, was their last stop. Left undisturbed for 500 years, the library contained over a thousand previously unknown manuscripts, as well as works of art and devotional objects. If it had belonged to another order, such as the Benedictines or Franciscans, about whom a great deal is already known, it probably wouldn’t have been as monumental a find.”