Germany's Merkel says supports efforts against hate speech

November 23, 2016 4:02 AM EST

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a meeting at the lower house of parliament Bundestag on 2017 budget in Berlin, Germany, November 23, 2016. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch


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BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday threw her support behind efforts to fight the use of hate speech posted on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google's YouTube.

Under a program that runs until March, German authorities are monitoring how many racist posts reported by users of social media sites are deleted within 24 hours. Justice Minister Heiko Maas has pledged to take legislative measures if the results are still unsatisfactory by then.

"I support efforts by Justice Minister Heiko Maas and Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere to address hate speech, hate commentaries, devastating things that are incompatible with human dignity, and to do everything to prohibit it because it contradicts our values," Merkel said in a speech to the Bundestag lower house of parliament.

(Reporting by Madeline Chambers and Paul Carrel; Writing by Sabine Siebold and Caroline Copley; Editing by Michelle Martin)



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