Instagram and Facebook block monitor video about the night of murder in Hanau – digital


A year ago, a right-wing extremist racist shot and killed nine young people, his mother and himself. The WDR magazine monitor has reconstructed the night of the murder in a video that reveals the omissions of the police. The 13-minute film can be found on WDR, in the ARD media library and on YouTube. Only on Instagram was the post missing in the meantime, the platform had removed the post.

“Ours, of all people monitor-Film about the racist attack in Hanau is said to violate your guidelines. Seriously now? “, asked editor-in-chief Georg Restle on Tuesday on Twitter. monitor published the post on February 19, immediately after which it was banned. Instagram justified the deletion only vaguely with a reference to the community guidelines. The blocking notice does not reveal what exactly was bothering the platform.

Instagram apologizes

On Wednesday noon, Instagram thought differently. “We have restored the post and we apologize for the mistake,” says a spokesman for the parent company Facebook. The upload of the video has already been blocked on Facebook, monitor therefore shared a link to Youtube.

The background remains unclear. Instagram’s rules prohibit, among other things, “videos with a high level of drastic violence”, even if they refer to current events. Of the monitor-Film is disturbing because it shows the suffering of relatives and the mistakes of the authorities. However, the recreated scenes from the night of the crime do not even contain the slightest violence that could justify a ban.

The journalists’ union DJU / Verdi names the decision of Instagram and Facebook “completely absurd“, Politician of the Left and Greens demanded clarification. Here is the monitor-Film is not an isolated incident. Again and again, posts in social networks are blocked for no reason. If it doesn’t hit the media or prominent accounts, the mistakes usually go unnoticed by the public. Many of those affected do not know how to defend themselves against the arbitrariness. For them, US corporations are a black box whose decisions they are helplessly exposed to.

The SZ was also affected

In fact, there doesn’t have to be any malicious intent behind the lock. Social networks are simply overwhelmed by the flood of content that users upload. Facebook and Google each employ tens of thousands of people viewing and blocking comments, photos and videos. The moderators often work under difficult conditions and have to decide within seconds. That is why illegal content regularly slips through or harmless posts are removed.

In the long term, the major platforms want to replace human auditors with machine systems that detect and filter violations. The algorithms are making great strides, meanwhile a large part of the illegal posts are automatically deleted, says Facebook. In the “violent and drastic content” category, it is about 99.5 percent on Facebook and 98.3 percent on Instagram. But no filter system in the world is perfect. When in doubt, the platforms prefer to block too much rather than too little. Laws such as the German Network Enforcement Act sanction failures, but so far do not provide for any consequences for so-called overblocking.

The SZ was also recently affected. Youtube blocked the video comment “Donald Trump’s dangerous cynicism” after the storm on the Capitol, because it contained “spam, misleading practices or fraud”. The platform rejected a complaint. Allegedly, you watched the video again and stick to the assessment. If you want to get a picture for yourself, you can find the comment on the SZ homepage.

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