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Federal President: Steinmeier complains about the language of the Internet

Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks for political debates “without hiding, but with an open visor”. Anonymously, the language apparently quickly out of control, complains the Federal President.

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has complained about a brutality of forms of contact on the Internet. “In some people, when they communicate anonymously, the language seems to be quickly out of control,” Steinmeier said in his first major interview as head of the state of the spark media group and the French newspaper “Ouest-France”. People would be “inordinate”.

There was no longer the attitude that the other could also be right, the Federal President complained. “At the same time, democracy lives precisely from the willingness to listen to others, to examine oneself and their own position and to look for solutions in the conflict of interests in respect of other positions.”

Throughout the world “a culture of the network that is anonymity,” said Steinmeier. “Nevertheless, in my view, democracy in Germany would be a good thing if we were to lead the political debate, including the political struggle, without hiding, but with an open visor.”

Understanding of Anonymity

At the same time, Steinmeier showed an understanding of the fact that Internet users do not recognize themselves in certain circumstances: “I know, of course, that there are enough authoritarian states around the world in which the anonymity of the statement is vital.”

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