Jakarta -Tight security is installed in a building on the west bank of Berlin. In it was a warning sign: “Everyone who enters without a badge is a spy!”. Spread across five floors, hundreds of men and women sit in six rows in front of their computer screens. All have signed confidentiality agreements. Four mental specialists are ready to help them for a full week.
They are Facebook agents and they have the authority to decide what freedom of speech is and what hatred is.
This is a data removal center, one of the largest that Facebook has, with over 1,200 content moderators. They clean up content ranging from terrorist propaganda, Nazi symbols, child abuse – in violation of law or corporate community standards under Germany’s new Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG) law.
Germany is home to a striking new online hatred legislation law and has become a laboratory for one of the most pressing issues for the government today: how to set up the world’s largest online social network.
Around the world, Facebook and other social networks are facing their challenge to maintain privacy, hoaxes, and hate speech. As the world faces this problem, Europe, especially Germany, emerges as the de facto executive to deal with this problem. The act of digital content in Berlin to resolve hate speech is set in Germany’s new Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG), and comes into effect on January 1, and is closely watched by other countries.
“For them, data is a money-making raw material,” said Gerd Billen, secretary of state at the German Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection.
“For us, data protection is a fundamental right that supports our democratic institutions,” said Gerd Billen.
Deletion centers go beyond the law, but efforts need to be acted upon. Every day content moderators in Berlin are hired by third-party companies and work exclusively on Facebook, to hack thousands of uploads flagged by users for harassing or potentially illegal and hate speech. Richard Allan, Facebook’s vice president for public policy in Europe stated, “We do not want to be arbitrators of freedom of speech.”
The Facebook Removal Center in Berlin is run by Arvato, a German service provider owned by conglomerate Bertelsmann. They should know the Facebook community standards and start January the basics of hate speech. The Facebook Removal Center in Berlin was inaugurated with 200 employees by 2015, which oversees Germany’s crowd of hundreds of thousands of migrants.