Social networks are flooded with posts about the violent crime against Luise from Freudenberg. Detectives compare the activities to a witch hunt.
Frankfurt/Freudenberg – The violent one Death of Luise (12) from Freudenberg (North Rhine-Westphalia) causes great horror. The alleged perpetrators are two girls who are only 12 and 13 themselves. Due to their young age, they are not yet of criminal age and cannot be charged in court – but the past few days have made it clear that this does not protect them from condemnation and hatred.
Within a short period of time, a great deal of information about the alleged perpetrators spread on social media. Especially on the TikTok platform, users shared names and photos that should belong to the girls. Texts that threaten the alleged perpetrators continue to flood the platform.
Case Luise from Freudenberg: Numerous false reports on TikTok
There seems to be an enormous need for information about the case – especially among young people and children. “Many are looking for the name, the case, wanting to find out more about it. Young people in particular who are active on TikTok share information and comment on what is happening,” explains Deborah Woldemichael, head of the EU initiative klicksafe.de SWR. As a result, TikTok is currently full of posts on the case of the stabbed Luise from Freudenberg – including numerous false reports.
There is no question that the death triggers emotions, anger and sadness. It is just as understandable that justice is demanded and it seems incomprehensible to many that the girls do not receive punishment in the classic sense. Nevertheless, the alleged perpetrators are children.
“Children are developing. And even with children who are over 14 years old, the focus is not on punishment, but on education,” explained criminal psychologist Rudolf Egg WDR-Interview. This also applies to children who have committed such a serious crime, as in the case of Luise who was killed. The top priority is to help the children so as not to further endanger their development. Because they are at the beginning of their lives and “you can’t condemn them straight away and completely exclude them from society,” emphasizes Egg: “Even if they have taken on a very serious moral guilt.”
Case Luise from Freudenberg: Social media are not bound by legal standards
However, by disseminating information about the alleged perpetrators and publicly threatening them, that is exactly what happens: they are declared to be outsiders in society whose actions are considered unforgivable – this leaves little room for remorse and reparation. The Federal Chairman of the Association of German Criminal Investigators (BDK), Dirk Peglow, therefore urgently warns against sharing pictures, names or alleged social media profiles of the alleged perpetrators on the Internet. “The dissemination of personal data or images of alleged suspects by private individuals on social media represents a modern form of witch hunt,” Peglow told the Editorial Network Germany (RND).
For media lawyer Josephine Ballon, the Luise case clearly shows what effect social media can have. While the press is bound by legal standards – including not reporting by name on alleged perpetrators, respecting personal rights and being particularly cautious when reporting on young people – this does not apply to social media.
After the death of Luise (12) from Freudenberg: “Think before you post”
“In the social media, everyone can simply write anything,” criticized Ballon in an interview with the SWR. Irrespective of what crimes the accused may have committed, threats against alleged suspects are also punishable. Woldemichael and many other media experts therefore advise: “Think before you post.” What is the purpose of the post, who could it harm and what are the possible consequences?
The profiles of the two girls on social media have since been blocked, as the police have confirmed with reference to their personal rights. It is also constantly checked whether criminally relevant contributions are posted. The families of the girls are said to have left the city of Freudenberg together with their children, according to the district administrator of the Siegen-Wittgenstein district in charge of the Siegener Zeitung. This is not a coercive measure, but a joint decision. The youth welfare office was also involved in the case. (tt)
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