After the murder of the Kassel District President Walter Lübcke and attacks in Halle and Hanau, among other places, the politics of hate speech on the Internet declared war. The Internet is not a legal vacuum, it said. But apparently there is no legal enforcement space, as Jan Böhmermann showed on Friday evening in the program “ZDF Magazin Royale”.
In August 2021, 16 correspondents in police departments in the 16 federal states wanted to report seven internet crimes, including the use of anti-constitutional symbols, incitement to hatred and incitement to violence, without referring to the program. The result was sobering.
In Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt (“Don’t you have any other worries?”) and Brandenburg, the adverts were not even taken up. In Bremen the computer system was on strike and in other federal states the investigations were only started after the ZDF magazine officially followed up. And in Bavaria it was said: “Mei, it’s just the Internet”, before the official referred to the responsibility of the platforms.
Only the police in Baden-Württemberg were really successful, they identified the perpetrator of the swastika case, who was then sentenced to a fine. This did not get through to Berlin, where, according to Böhmermann, further investigations are being carried out.
But while there was at least one positive result in this case, the practical test for the crimes on Twitter (no result) and Facebook (it was determined in at least some federal states, albeit without a result) was even more negative.
There is obviously still a need for clarification between Berlin and Mainz. According to a police spokesman, the Berlin police accepted all seven reports and opened criminal investigations on the same day. The procedures were conducted by the police state security, said the spokesman.
By April 13 of this year, five cases had been handed over to the Attorney General’s Office for further decision. In the other two cases, state security was still being investigated at the time. He did not have any more recent information.
The Magdeburg police inspection has now admitted mistakes. According to previous knowledge, the Magdeburg police station did not accept a criminal complaint at the time. One is already in a comprehensive investigation of the facts, said the authority.
According to the ZDF magazine, the public prosecutor’s office in Bremen has even initiated investigations against the police authorities because of possible criminal evasion in office. A similar procedure was also opened in Saxony.