German Chancellor Angela Merkel confronted Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on what the social network is doing to police racist Facebook posts.
While in a luncheon at the sidelines of a development summit organized by the United Nations in New York on Sept. 26, a conversation between Merkel and Zuckerberg were overheard through a live transmissions broadcast on the website of the United Nations while the attendees of the luncheon were taking their seats.
The brief glimpse into the confrontation saw Merkel follow up on Facebook's efforts after the German government issued a complaint to Facebook that it was not doing enough to control racist outbursts on the social network.
After Merkel's inquiry, Zuckerberg was heard saying that "we need to do some work" regarding the issue.
"Are you working on this?" asked Merkel, to which Zuckerberg replied with a yes.
After the exchange, the dialogue between Merkel and Zuckerberg was cut off as introductory remarks for the luncheon began.
Earlier in September, Facebook said that it will be stepping up its efforts in cracking down on racist content on the German version of the social network. On Sept. 14, Facebook said that it will be teaming up with Voluntary Self-Monitoring of Multimedia Service Providers, a non-profit group that serves as an Internet watchdog in Germany, to keep track of the hate posts.
The racist posts have been climbing in number as German officials face the biggest refugee crisis of the country since World War II. As many as 1 million refugees from Syria are expected to seek entry into Germany from poverty and war this year.
While many Germans have welcomed the refugees and aided them, there has also been an anti-foreigner part of the population that have been attacking refugee centers.
"We are committed to working closely with the German government on this important issue," said Facebook spokeswoman Debbie Frost through an e-mail, adding that the social network believes that the best solution in dealing with users that post xenophobic and racist content would come if the society, government and service providers all team up to address the issue.