The unnerving message could have come from Islamic State: “May his hands be broken multiple times or simply chopped off.”
It wasn’t from IS, however. It was from a German reader,who was upset about an article by Steffen Dobbert, an editor at the popular German news website ZEIT Online, about Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Separately, a viewer referred to Katrin Eigendorf, a journalist at German public-service television broadcaster ZDF, as an “agitator.”
And Golineh Atai, a correspondent for the ARD public broadcast channel, who reports regularly on the Ukraine conflict, was the target of particularly harsh criticism: “This woman is disgusting,” a “revolting propaganda dummy,” and “political vomit.”
All of these attacks are recent – and were made publicly on the Internet. You don’t have to be a lawyer to know that if the authors of these kinds of comments weren’t hiding behind fictitious names, they would have been in court long ago. What they are doing is extreme and offensive.