[Wikipedia-l] German anti-free speech law and Helga

Jens Frank JeLuF at gmx.de
Mon Aug 26 11:39:57 UTC 2002

On Sun, Aug 25, 2002 at 12:19:17PM -0700, Daniel Mayer wrote:
> On Sunday 25 August 2002 05:33 pm, you wrote:
> > Apart from this being utter nonsense (see e.g.
> > http://www.nizkor.org/features/qar/qar11.html for a discussion of these
> > arguments), this most probably violates
> > German Law (Paragraph 130(3) of our penal code, denial of genocide
> > performed by the nazis).
> >
> > It's time to stop her.
> >
> >
> > JeLuF
> As a red blooded American I think that law is well intentioned but just ranks 
> with anti-free speech totalitarian newspeak and probably does more to 
> encourage Neo-Nazis and their ilk than to discourage them (punishing people 
> just because they have certain views tends to make other people with similar 
> views get the "us vs. them" mentality; which just strengthens their resolve 
> and encourages ideas about "conspiracies" to "get them" that "must be 
> stopped" = the law inadvertently creates a class of people actively opposed 
> to the government when there were only various unrelated people with similar 
> ideas before). We should therefore /not/ even begin to consider banning 
> anyone just because they are breaking such a law. 

The law considers denying of the holocaust as an insultation of the dead.
Insulting someone is not protected by the right of free speech, AFAIK that's
the same in the US.

> However, we are trying to build a fact-based and neutral encyclopedia, so if 
> we do /temporarily/ block Helga then the /only/ reason why is because she is 
> a major drain on contributor resources and she is therefore harming the goals 
> and progress of the project. 

> BTW, people should be able to say whatever they want in everyday life or 
> their personal websites but if any of that is to be in a neutral and 

DMCA. Your political system decided that telling someone the way how to
remove copyright protection is against the law and not free speech. My
political system decided that sowing hatred between people is against
the law. Hatred is much more dangerous than someone hearing songs of
Britney Spears without paying for them, in my opinion.

> > Oh, I didn't want to suggest to denounce her, I just don't want
> > Jimbo to be arrested when occasionally entering Germany ...
> >
> > ????????Regards,
> >
> > ????????????????JeLuF
> Well intentioned reasoning -- the last thing we need is Jimbo behind bars ;). 
> Is this at all a possibility in German law? In the US Jimbo is protected by 
> the fact that he is technically the ISP of wikipedia and therefore has 
> limited liability on what users of his ISP do (not to mention 1st Amendment 
> protections that protect both him and users of his ISP). 

It's a little bit unclear. He is probably not responsible for the things Helga
writes as long as he is not knowing about it. Knowing about her denial of the
holocaust and not doing anything against it might void the protection he has
as technical provider. 

> There is also the 
> German Wikipedia to consider -- I somehow get the feeling that the German 
> Wikipedia is just filled with her nonsense propaganda (smaller project = 
> fewer contributors who can successfully confront and debunk her "work" = 
> Helga has much more power to get her way).   

She is not that active on the German wiki as far as I can tell, but I don't
know how to check for "User contributions" like it's possible in the English
wiki. At least, there are no articles on "Gdansk/Danzig" yet in the German
wiki. This might change as soon as Helga is banned, of course.

Best regards,


More information about the Wikipedia-l mailing list