Foreign Policy: Germany’s Online Crackdowns Inspire the World’s Dictators


An anti-hate speech law written in Berlin has been copy-pasted by authoritarian regimes from Caracas to Moscow.

The German government has responded to a recent spate of right-wing extremist violence with a commitment to enact tough new measures against online hate speech. These would expand Germany’s existing efforts along these lines—but seemingly without any consideration of the pernicious effects they’ve already had around the world. As our new report shows, Germany’s ongoing crackdown on online speech has been closely watched, and copied, by authoritarian governments eager to curb political dissent.

The crackdown began after 2015, when Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to welcome more than 1 million refugees and asylum-seekers was greeted with a tidal wave of protest ranging from derision to visceral hatred on social media. The anger migrated from the online trolling and memes of keyboard warriors into actual attacks on refugee centers across Germany.

Read the full article here.

Read the report here.


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