The German Interior Minister discussed the beginning of nationwide raids against people suspected of posting messages on social media deemed to amount to hate crimes, during a press conference in Berlin on Wednesday.
De Maiziere reported that the people whose houses had been searched had “systematically and persistently posted hate online.”
German police have searched 60 homes, following the rise in hate speech and anti-Semitism being published on the internet. Their main targets are members of a Facebook group in Bavaria that praises Nazis.
Although the posts are anonymous dozens of perpetrators have been identified are being investigated. Some already face heavy fines of around $5,500 (€4,952). One of the most famous cases involves Lutz Bachmann, the leader of 'PEGIDA', a right-wing group that protests against Islam in Germany. Bachmann was fined approximately $10,000 (€9,004) for calling refugees scum in Facebook posts.
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