Bare breasts versus race-baiting in German Facebook protest

30th October 2015, Comments 0 comments

A Facebook campaign featuring a topless woman and a man holding up a racist sign has gone viral in Germany, as its creator said Friday the social network needed to rein in hate speech.

The image shows a voluptuous woman wearing only a pair of panties and a man in an easy chair clad in an undershirt and jeans with a handwritten, misspelled message reading "Don't Buy From Turks" -- a Nazi-era slogan against Jews combined with a racist slur.

It features the caption "One of these people is violating Facebook's rules" and the hashtag #nippelstatthetze ("nipples instead of race-baiting").

Self-described "politically oriented" photographer Olli Waldhauer, 41, told AFP he posted the image on Facebook on Wednesday night and within two hours the site had taken it down and informed him it ran up against its no-nudity policy.

But he made the image available on file-sharing website WeTransfer where it was downloaded and shared "countless" times, he said. A media report put the number at at least 30,000.

"I want Facebook to ban the picture not because of the nudity but because of the race-baiting," he told AFP.

"I think it's great that so many people have uploaded the picture and shown that they don't want racist pictures on Facebook."

Facebook in mid-September pledged to combat hate speech on its German-language network as xenophobic comments online spiked.

The popular social network had come under pressure from German authorities who charge that the website had not been systematically erasing offending entries even though users had flagged them up.

Facebook has seen a rise in racist commentary as Germany gears up to take in up to a million refugees this year.

The site said it would encourage "counter speech" and step up monitoring of anti-foreigner commentary, as company representatives met German Justice Minister Heiko Maas.

Maas had earlier said Facebook should not "become a funfair for the far right".

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© 2015 AFP

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