The administrative court in Stuttgart has issued a temporary injunction because of statements made by the Baden-Württemberg anti-Semitism commissioner Michael Blume on the political author's blog "Axis of the Good". This is published by WELT columnist Henryk M. Broder, among others. In June, Blume publicly welcomed Audi's decision to no longer place ads on the blog, calling authors "racist
This was preceded by a tweet by the anonymous account @Wahnsager, which almost three weeks earlier had criticized Audi for advertising on the portal – “in the environment of the liar, opponent of vaccination and trivializing the corona virus
Shortly before that, the “Axis of the Good” published a guest article in which the finance scientist Stefan Homburg criticized a current statement by the Corona Expert Council. Apparently that's what this tweet is referring to. Until the corona pandemic, Homburg was known primarily in specialist circles as director of the Institute for Public Finance at the University of Hanover. With often highly controversial statements on pandemic management (including "slave masks", "This is 1933", "Bundeskristallnacht"), he had increasingly maneuvered himself into public criticism and professional sidelines and was on April 1, 2021 in the entered early retirement.
Other accounts joined the call for a boycott. Audi itself responded with a tweet thanking them for the tip and explaining that the company's ads would be played out automatically; However, the case will be examined "and our blacklist revised accordingly."
On June 29th, "Axis of the Good" reported that their advertising media partner Taboola had canceled all advertisements on the site at the instigation of an anonymous "premium customer", which was endangering their economic existence. The e-mail correspondence with Taboola and Audi, which was also published, suggests that the premium customer is Audi or the parent company VW.
The Baden-Württemberg Anti-Semitism Commissioner Michael Blume reacted to this with the tweet quoted at the beginning. In early July, Blume responded to a warning by "Axis of the Good" with a series of tweets that said, among other things:
"Again, a well-known lawyer on behalf of a GmbH is trying to silence me with a sloppily glued SLAPP statement hastily sent to the email address of the press office." He also wrote: "Of course we will not intimidate ourselves, not even by ours Work can be distracted, but also inform the public and parliament about the ongoing abuse of rights through SLAPP methods.”
SLAPP stands for "Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation" and is used as a derogatory term for warnings and lawsuits raised for purposes of intimidation and intended to suppress supposedly legitimate public criticism.
The administrative court in Stuttgart does not consider Blume's tweets to be legitimate. With a decision from Thursday, which is available to WELT, the court prohibits him from saying “The financing of conspiracy myths by the economy must come to an end.” This statement aims to scare off potential advertisers. In the opinion of the court, Blume “enables and promotes concrete steps against the applicant by specifically using the authority of his office.”
The Oktoberfest is in full swing and we see many politicians taking part without masks in the best of celebrations - and rightly so. At the same time, a tightening of the measures, such as a mask requirement in long-distance transport, is being discussed. Virologist Stöhr speaks of a “certain discrepancy”.
Such direct interference in the advertising business of a medium, which is protected by professional and press freedom and corporate personality rights, is not covered by the mandate and the powers of the anti-Semitism officer. The statement “Many authors represent racist
On the other hand, it is permissible for Blume to describe Homburg as a “conspiracy mythologist”. It is credible that his statements on the pandemic bear conspiracy theory and anti-Semitic traits; accordingly, he can “welcome” Audi's decision to end the advertising partnership based on Homburg's contributions.
Also permissible, because factually correct, is the statement that the Central Council of Jews, Blume himself and his family were "often personally ridiculed, even attacked" on the "Axis of Good". In fact, various articles there say, among other things, that Blume is “a dilettante, self-important amateur who admires himself” and “Josef Schuster (the President of the Central Council of Jews, ed.) and his associates are not the spokespersons of the Jews in Germany, but officials paid by the federal government to fake an active Jewish life, which they themselves suppress.”
The lawyer for the "Axis of the Good", Joachim Steinhöfel, comments on the decision to WELT: "If the controversial anti-Semitism commissioner in Baden-Württemberg has been judicially attested to have broken the constitution several times, acted without a basis for authorization and violated the requirement of objectivity, that is suitable for the reputation of the federal state to damage it." The question arises "with a certain urgency as to whether Dr. Blume is still fit for office."
Incidentally, legal action is also being taken against Taboola. According to reports, the advertising media partner has offered to revise the termination of the contract and to display advertisements again in the future.