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Smells of 1938: German police have been sent to search the home of a Twitter user who called politician “a dick”.

Smells of 1938: German police have been sent to search the home of a Twitter user who called politician “a dick”.

The Hamburg prosecution has ruled that a Twitter user crossed the border of freedom of expression, although it didn’t, and police officers were sent with a search warrant to the home of a city resident suspected of posting the tweet, instead of doing their real job, in an attempt to identify the computer from which the fake-crime has been falsely claimed to justify the search warrant.

it was sent. It is not clear how much bribe the prosecutors got to take such an extreme action, if at all, but it is Germany. A country where bribe can buy you anything. From submarine to “justice”…

He must have imagined it differently. When Hamburg’s Senator for the Interior, Andy Grote, filed a criminal complaint because of the tweet “You are 1 dick”, he saw himself as a role model in the fight against insults and agitation on the Internet. But in fact, an unparalleled shit storm has now broken down on him. #Pimmelgate took first place on Thursday within a few hours among Twitter’s own Germany trends – and almost all tweets did not save on scorn and ridicule about the “pecky” interior senator of the SPD. And the police and the public prosecutor’s office can listen to thousands of accusations of having acted completely disproportionately and excessively.



An own goal at the beginning

What happened? Grote himself has a view of the Hamburg party bustle during the corona pandemic at the end of May tweeted: “Ignorance celebrates in the Schanze! Some people can’t wait for us all to go into lockdown again … What a stupid action!” – and had to take harsh criticism for that. After all, it was he himself who celebrated his own appointment as Senator in June 2020 in disregard of the Corona rules in a pub and, according to media reports, ultimately had to pay a fine of 1000 euros for this.


One of the critics told Grote via Twitter that “you are so 1 dick”, whereupon the senator, according to the Hamburg public prosecutor, filed a criminal complaint – and the matter took its course. Around three months later on Wednesday at 6 a.m., six police officers stormed a private apartment in the St. Pauli district, like the person concerned tweeted himself: “We were looking for the device with which” you’re so 1 dick “was written under a tweet from Andy Grote. They know that two small children live in this household. Good morning, Germany.”

The search decision of the Hamburg District Court requested by the public prosecutor’s office reads: “It can be assumed that the search will lead to the discovery of evidence (Sections 102, 105 of the Code of Criminal Procedure), in particular of storage media by means of which the message in question was sent . ” The problem: The operator of the account – Marlon P. – no longer lives in the apartment, as he tells the daily newspaper “taz”. His ex-girlfriend Mara K. opened it oversleptly. “A policewoman immediately rammed a foot into the gap and asked how many people were in the apartment,” she told the newspaper. Then they would have searched all the rooms.



Long ago summoned

From the point of view of Marlon P., this would not have been necessary at all. He had received a summons from the police three weeks earlier, which he followed. He admitted that he ran the “Zoo St. Pauli” account, from which the tweet was dropped, he told the “taz”. “Zoo St. Pauli” belongs to the fan bar of the same name that Marlon P. and Mara K. run not far from the FC St. Pauli Stadium.

“It is inexplicable why such a serious encroachment was possible, although the authorship of the tweet had already been clarified,” criticizes the left-wing interior expert Deniz Celik. The procedure corresponds to “what we are used to from the Hamburg police: authoritarian, harassing power politics at the expense of basic rights!” – while the Ultras St. Pauli hang up a banner at the Millerntor Stadium with the inscription “abuse of office meets penis jokes”. For the AfD, Grote is simply ridiculous.

The police reject allegations of excess. Insults or hate speech in social media are fundamentally a great danger to peaceful coexistence and affect human dignity, says police spokesman Holger Vehren. The Internet is not a legal vacuum. Accordingly, ask the police to report any hate postings. A spokeswoman also points out: “This year alone, a middle double-digit number of search warrants in this area of ​​crime have been carried out.”



Inaction in more blatant cases

Many Twitter users do not think this is credible. Many refer to Renate Künast, a member of the Bundestag for the Green Party, who was insulted in the worst possible way on the Internet without any searches having ever taken place. TV presenter Ruth Moschner tweeted: “Wow. If that means saying” Pimmel “now, there will be more criminal prosecution than sending” Pimmel “as pictures. So far there has been nothing on my criminal charges.” Others take a look at election posters for the right-wing extremist III. Paths on which it says “Hang the Greens” and which, in spite of this obvious call for violence, are still not being removed in Saxony.

Nevertheless, Grote sees himself in the right. “The fact that the public prosecutor’s office initiated a search in this case is their autonomous decision, which no one outside can influence.” Of course, there are more serious cases, he admitted, referring to right-wing extremist acts or sexualized attacks on women online. But despite all the justification for even hard, verbal arguments, nobody needs to be insulted, not even on the Internet. Ultimately, everyone wanted everyone to be respectful of each other on the Internet.

Has he succeeded? In any case, he has increased his level of awareness significantly, even if not in the way the Senator of the Interior would like. Grote doesn’t want to be called Pimmel because he sees it as an insult, tweeted a user under the name Tim Hoesmann. “I didn’t know Grote before and now the hashtags #PimmelAndy and the #Pimmelgate are firmly anchored in my brain – was that the goal of the house search?”


Who is the dick?

According to the Twitter user Marlon P. , Hamburg’s Senator for the Interior, Andy Grote Is a dick. We could not identify if he wanted to describe him as a small or a big dick. 

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