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Author Topic: "The Fourth Reich: Facebook's Like button banned in Germany"  (Read 6339 times)

Stephen66515

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"The Fourth Reich: Facebook's Like button banned in Germany"
« on: August 21, 2011, 12:47:34 PM »

Quote
One typically rambunctious UK tabloid labelled the current German administration as “The Fourth Reich” last week – and a German state is playing its part by banning the Facebook “Like” button from all websites in its jurisdiction.

The Eurozone financial crisis has produced far-reaching recommendations from the Germans and France which will impact upon the entire EU, prompting the always over-the-top Daily Mail to carry a headline hailing the arrival of the Fourth Reich.

One of the characteristics of Hitler’s regime – apart from the millions of executions, of course – was the arbitrary outlawing of run-of-the-mill activities such as reading certain books or listening to a particular type of music.

And while the latest thing to be banned in one part of Germany may not exactly be a 21st century echo of that time, it does appear to be an arbitrary decision to clamp down on something people all across the world might look upon as one small definition of freedom – the ability to “Like” something on Facebook.

As well as encouraging the public at large to avoid Facebook, the state of Schleswig-Holstein has ordered all government offices to remove the Like button from their websites and take down any Facebook fan pages.

Why? Because the overlords there see Facebook’s data-gathering technique as a violation of German and European data privacy laws.

Anyone who doesn’t comply is liable to face a €50,000 fine.

Still, it beats a one-way ticket to hell, eh?

[Main picture via owenwbrown/Flickr Creative Commons]




One thing I was ammused with, was the significant lack of the "Like" button on the quoted website (No...Share isn't the same thing!)...Irony strikes again!



Source: http://www.joe.ie/te...in-germany-0015139-1
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 04:33:15 PM by Stephen66515 »

Renegade

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Re: The Fourth Reich: Facebook's Like button banned in Germany
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2011, 12:57:37 PM »
While I may think that the Facebook privacy policies are dirtier than when I spray the toilet with a nice liquid explosive, I'm not sure that they're addressing the problem properly.

I had nothing but contempt for the European governments before, and my opinion has only sunk further into loathing.

I wish I could agree with the whole "4th Reich" thing, but I think they're actually in a long queue, and only likely to make the 666th Reich or something similarly stupid.

Yay for our wonderful governments that really are looking out for our best interests... (Yeah, right... are you high?)
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Re: The Fourth Reich: Facebook's Like button banned in Germany
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2011, 01:25:44 PM »
I had nothing but contempt for the European governments before, and my opinion has only sunk further into loathing.
Because of this?

Seems like a pretty sensible thing to me, really. Apart from being a lame "so ein ding müssen wir auch haben" thing, the 'like' button functions as a tracing cookie for facebook. And no, you don't have to actually press it in order for the tracing to happen.

Who on earth would 'like' government pages anyway?

And it's sensible enough to ban anything government-related from using facebook for anything. Would you like your government to be reliant on a big datamining P.O.S that has been known for shutting down pages for no good reason?
- carpe noctem

Eóin

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Re: The Fourth Reich: Facebook's Like button banned in Germany
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2011, 01:32:55 PM »
As I read that I was thinking this is so bizzare, just doesn't make sense, etc etc. Then I got down to the 5th paragraph and realise ah, everything before that was lies and now it's getting onto the truth. Infact the German goverment is just doing it's small part to protect people from highly insideous privacy violations by a large, international company.

Fair play Germany :Thmbsup:

Yay for our wonderful governments that really are looking out for our best interests... (Yeah, right... are you high?)

Maybe, maybe not... But you can be sure as hell that Facebook is looking out only for itself and ordinary folks be damned.

iphigenie

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Re: The Fourth Reich: Facebook's Like button banned in Germany
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2011, 04:17:42 PM »
Germany has some very strict privacy laws - and they have further laws preventing taking information out of the EU in order to bypass the german laws. It is possible that the Facebook button could infringe some of the law.

As I have experienced first hand on an ecommerce website I built for T Online, German businesses and institutions will err on the safe side to make sure they don't infringe the law, and often put rules above and beyond what the law could be interpreted as, just to be safe from ever beeing at risk. Seems to be what happened here, with one of the regions in Germany deciding the like button could land them in trouble and therefore their own state sites won't have it. And in our day and age of CMSes all it takes it one employee putting the button somewhere and suddenly facebook has a profile of people's tax status, domicile etc. just from the URLs and page data of pages on what is a government site.

Whereas this can be considered overkill, wheeling out comparisons to Nazis and Hitler when talking about the Facebook like button is ridiculous and an insult to the victims of the Nazis and World War II. Out of proportion even when compared to the arbitrary laws the nazis made...

Kind of discredits whatever point the author had to make - if you have to bring the Nazis up, I can assume you didnt have much to contribute in the first place.

Eóin

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Re: The Fourth Reich: Facebook's Like button banned in Germany
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2011, 04:21:37 PM »
Kind of discredits whatever point the author had to make - if you have to bring the Nazis up, I can assume you didnt have much to contribute in the first place.

See Reductio ad Hitlerum and Godwin's law.

tomos

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Re: The Fourth Reich: Facebook's Like button banned in Germany
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2011, 04:00:38 PM »
wheeling out comparisons to Nazis and Hitler when talking about the Facebook like button is ridiculous and an insult to the victims of the Nazis and World War II. Out of proportion even when compared to the arbitrary laws the nazis made...

it's an insult to everyone, Germans as well (but of course that's the tabloids main intention, and isn't it great to have someone to insult when you have such a big guilt stick to beat them with if they object, & who gives a toss if 90% of them weren't even born then etc etc)

and as for quoting it with title, seems to me like just saying/doing the same thing...
Tom

Stephen66515

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Re: The Fourth Reich: Facebook's Like button banned in Germany
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2011, 04:16:38 PM »
wheeling out comparisons to Nazis and Hitler when talking about the Facebook like button is ridiculous and an insult to the victims of the Nazis and World War II. Out of proportion even when compared to the arbitrary laws the nazis made...

it's an insult to everyone, Germans as well (but of course that's the tabloids main intention, and isn't it great to have someone to insult when you have such a big guilt stick to beat them with if they object, & who gives a toss if 90% of them weren't even born then etc etc)

and as for quoting it with title, seems to me like just saying/doing the same thing...

If thats aimed at me, I had zero intention of causing any offense by leaving the title in place.  This was NOT written by me (Except the little laugh about their website).  This is how I Always Share website quotes, leaving the original title to be used as the title for my post.

tomos

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Re: The Fourth Reich: Facebook's Like button banned in Germany
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2011, 04:27:03 PM »
and as for quoting it with title, seems to me like just saying/doing the same thing...

If thats aimed at me, I had zero intention of causing any offense by leaving the title in place.  This was NOT written by me (Except the little laugh about their website).  This is how I Always Share website quotes, leaving the original title to be used as the title for my post.

thanks Stephen for that clarification, I didnt want to be offensive myself or start another war or anything :-[
btw I'm not personally offended by it but do find it offensive - if that makes sense (living in Germany you start to realise how big the guilt stick is and to see things from a different perspective). FWIW I would have put it in quotes myself to show they're not my words...
Tom

Stephen66515

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Re: The Fourth Reich: Facebook's Like button banned in Germany
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2011, 04:32:11 PM »
and as for quoting it with title, seems to me like just saying/doing the same thing...

If thats aimed at me, I had zero intention of causing any offense by leaving the title in place.  This was NOT written by me (Except the little laugh about their website).  This is how I Always Share website quotes, leaving the original title to be used as the title for my post.

thanks Stephen for that clarification, I didnt want to be offensive myself or start another war or anything :-[
btw I'm not personally offended by it but do find it offensive - if that makes sense (living in Germany you start to realise how big the guilt stick is and to see things from a different perspective). FWIW I would have put it in quotes myself to show they're not my words...

I have no intention of War  8)

Lemme quickly fix the title so its in quotation marks :D

*edit*

Done =D

tomos

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Re: "The Fourth Reich: Facebook's Like button banned in Germany"
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2011, 04:52:20 PM »
I have no intention of War  8)

I knew that :Thmbsup:
Tom

Stephen66515

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Carol Haynes

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Re: "The Fourth Reich: Facebook's Like button banned in Germany"
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2011, 08:16:43 PM »
I have to say I have tried looking for the UK tabloid article referred to in the original post in this thread and can't find it.

Sadly searching for:

Quote
"The Fourth Reich" Facebook

on Google brings up no references to tabloid newspapers but does have DonationCoder hitting near the top spot (just below three pages on Facebook).

Personally it doesn't surprise me that UK tabloids would stoop to such scummy and offensive headlines - the bar has been set incredibly low in the UK for newspapers and the tabloids seems to slip under it with plenty of room to spare. Some newspaper will print anything to appeal to the basest and most stupid human bigotry and then stand proud on the free speech platform. If anyone behaves like Nazis it is the ultra rightwing tabloid press in the UK (and Murdoch who encourages this kind of insensitive crap to make a quick buck).

What I do find sad is finding this quoted and discussed on here.

If you want to discuss the stupidity (or not) of Germany banning the Facebook 'Like' button - even though they claim Facebook privacy policy violates EU law then that is a good topic. Personally I think it probably does since FB doesn't seem to have any effective privacy policy or even privacy intentions other than to sell to the highest bidder and publish everything even when you don't want to and choose to opt out. You have to remember that FB originates in the US where the 1st Amendment and privacy seem to be mutually exclusive concepts (at least in the eyes of anyone who wants to publish stuff without good reason) and policies that are acceptable in the US probably do violate laws on data protection and privacy in other countries.

I am not saying I find Stephen offensive - but I do find the idea of "The Fourth Reich" and comparison's to Hilter offensive given everything the Third Reich stood for and did. It is not only offensive to the countless people who were slaughtered (and not just the Jews, many other groups also faced a form of eugenic genocide) but also the implication that today's Germans haven't learned the lessons from their own history - they are more educated about what went on in WW II than almost any other nation and have laws specifically making it illegal to deny the atrocities took place.

Comparing removing the Facebook Like button to Hitler's Germany is plainly ridiculous and only serves to trivialise an horrendous piece of history that some families still struggle to come to terms with.

Sorry just my 2p - please let's move on!
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 08:21:43 PM by Carol Haynes »

Stephen66515

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Re: "The Fourth Reich: Facebook's Like button banned in Germany"
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2011, 06:45:30 AM »
Taking politics out of the equation, I merely posted about this to highlight the stupidity of media firms when it comes to creating "Headlines to make you read", that, and the irony of said website not actually having a "Like" button on their website.

When is a brick not a brick? When its a tree.

J-Mac

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Re: "The Fourth Reich: Facebook's Like button banned in Germany"
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2011, 11:19:50 PM »
I don’t agree with the fourth reich reference, but I do dis-Like that button myself. It is a tracker, nothing more. And what do I care if anyone thinks I "like" a web page? Senseless IMO.

Jim

Eóin

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Re: "The Fourth Reich: Facebook's Like button banned in Germany"
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2011, 10:08:37 AM »
Seems Ireland is looking into the like button too - Irish data chiefs set to test if Facebook ‘Like’ button is illegal.

A very interesting point is brought up in the article:

The incoming complaint focuses on how the ‘Like’ button allows Facebook to track the online activity of any web user – even those who are not among the social networking site’s 750 million members worldwide.

By logging the IP addresses of internet users when they visit pages containing an embedded ‘Like’ button, the social network is theoretically able to build a profile of that user’s browsing habits, and then use this to its commercial advantage.

This was illegal under EU law, Weichert argued, because Facebook would harvest this data through web servers based in the US – and not within the EU, as the commissioner said was required.

Carol Haynes

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Re: "The Fourth Reich: Facebook's Like button banned in Germany"
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2011, 10:29:52 AM »
I don't like them doing it but how does harvesting raw data from a dynamic IP address help with marketing on Facebook?

iphigenie

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Re: "The Fourth Reich: Facebook's Like button banned in Germany"
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2011, 10:49:59 AM »
I have experienced German privacy laws first hand and as I said in my previous comments, companies and institutions tend to overcompensate just to be sure to be safe.

For example on my project we had lots of issues because we supported the platform and our main support team was in Romania (which is in the EU, btw) and our email with Rackspace and out ticket system with onJira and perhaps now and then someone from the client's front end support team might put in the ticketing system some information about a problem about an order which could perhaps contain a name of a german person and which perhaps would go via email or jira temporarily outside the EU...

No surprise institutions like this County choose to play it safe and preempt some employee putting the like button somewhere it shouldnt be, like that tax information page...

jgpaiva

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Re: "The Fourth Reich: Facebook's Like button banned in Germany"
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2011, 11:01:56 AM »
I don't like them doing it but how does harvesting raw data from a dynamic IP address help with marketing on Facebook?
At the very least, they could related the dynamic IP to the IP the user is using to access facebook (if they are viewing it at the same time). Still, if someone is logged in to facebook, I'd say they can get the facebook user from there, since your friend's tastes come up on the "facebook social plugin" some sites have.

J-Mac

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Re: "The Fourth Reich: Facebook's Like button banned in Germany"
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2011, 03:36:06 PM »
Couldn't they just track everywhere you browse to and include that data in with the rest of our data they sell?

Jim

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Re: "The Fourth Reich: Facebook's Like button banned in Germany"
« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2011, 07:04:34 PM »
Aren't they tracking you everywhere already? Or so it's suggested by this researcher. No wonder you can block all the social media crap hanging around websites. And the loading speed improvements are nice.

J-Mac

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Re: "The Fourth Reich: Facebook's Like button banned in Germany"
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2011, 09:22:05 PM »
Aren't they tracking you everywhere already? Or so it's suggested by this researcher. No wonder you can block all the social media crap hanging around websites. And the loading speed improvements are nice.

Thanks Lashiec! I was looking all over for that link (or one just like it I had read) but didn't find it before I posted. So how do you mean "block all the social media crap"? I have Facebook Blocker on Firefox but haven't found any such help on Google Chrome. Ad Muncher's Jeff doesn’t offer a way to block the Facebook junk. When I asked him on their forum he basically asked what web site - he will only respond to requests about individual pages, which is crazy and IMO useless.

Thanks!

Jim

Lashiec

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Re: "The Fourth Reich: Facebook's Like button banned in Germany"
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2011, 06:51:13 AM »
Adblock Plus has at least two subscriptions that block pretty much everything: Facebook "Like" buttons, tweet counts, Reddit rank... The main list is the appropriately named Antisocial, which works with any other list, and if you're using Fanboy's adblocking list, he also provides a supplement called Fanboy's Annoyances, that strips anything deemed annoying from webpages, including social buttons. They probably work with Chrome's Adblock Plus as well.

That said, Antisocial, which is the one I use, is a list of recent creation and as such, it is not well tested, so you might encounter many false positives around the web. If some page appears broken, well, Antisocial might be the main suspect.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2011, 07:05:23 AM by Lashiec, Reason: Caveat emptor, Adversity -> Antisocial »