In August of this year, the suicide of a female doctor shook Austria. She had been subjected to massive hatred for months because she had publicly spoken out in favor of Corona vaccinations. Magenta Telekom is sending a clear signal against hate on the Internet: in its General Terms and Conditions (GTC). We spoke to Andreas Bierwirth, CEO of Magenta Telekom, about the commitment of our Austrian colleagues.
According to a study commissioned by Saferinternet.at and ISPA (Internet Server Providers Austria), more than 50 percent of Austrian young people have already been affected by hate on the net. ZARA, the official Austrian counseling center against hate on the net, determined that almost half of all hate messages are based on conspiracy myths. The case surrounding the suicide of a female doctor from Austria shows what dramatic consequences this can have. And it shows: Hate is not a trivial offense.
Magenta Telekom is taking a stand, as Andreas Bierwirth, CEO Magenta Telekom, says: "As a network operator, we are aware of the responsibility around an open Internet. At the same time, the Internet is not a lawless space. We want to set an example against this by making hate on the Internet visible. We promise to continue to address this issue, take a stance and act within our legal framework." For Andreas Bierwirth, commitment to better coexistence online is a matter close to his heart: "Only if we all work together to combat hate online can we make a lasting difference in this field."
Magenta Telekom has anchored its stance in its T&Cs since May 2022. "It is important for us to make it clear that there are consequences under criminal law and that customers are informed about recommended measures and reporting points," says Andreas Bierwirth.
And what happens if the passage in the GTC is violated? Andreas Bierwirth: "Breaches of criminal law, non-payment of bills or misuse of our networks open up the possibility of terminating the contractual relationship with customers. Of course, following up on this is not easy because, unlike credit reports, there is no official reporting process for the issue. However, in addition to the consequences, the clear stance that we have now enshrined in the GTC is of great importance to us."
According to Andreas Bierwirth, the reaction of customers to the amended GTC has been largely positive. Above all, the measure has raised awareness of the issue among many people. "That is exactly what we wanted to achieve.
The amended terms and conditions are just one of many measures. Colleagues in Austria are also focusing on raising awareness via social media campaigns. They have also put the current German TV spot on air in Austria. Magenta Telekom is working closely with ZARA on the campaign launched in August. Together with YouTubers like Michi Buchinger, stories of those affected are made visible (anonymously). The goal: to show the five percent who spread hate how loud 95 percent can be. With digital civil courage together against hate on the net. For more information: www.magenta.at/gegen-hass-im-netz.
No Hate Speech
Words must not become a weapon. Deutsche Telekom is fighting for a network without hate in which we treat one another respectfully.