Unidentified assailants attack German Facebook headquarters in Hamburg

A group of unidentified masked assailants attacked Facebook’s Germany headquarters building in Hamburg.  The group consisting of 15 to 20 people threw stones, smoke-bombs, and paint-filled jars at the building on Saturday night, a police spokesman reportedly said.

The word “Facebook Dislike” was sprayed as a rejection of the social network on one of the outer walls of the Facebook office building. After their attack, the masked assailants fled the scene. No injuries were reported in the incident.

The black-clad, masked vandals hurled rocks, paint and smoke bombs at the building, damaging its walls, front door and windows, in the northern port city of Hamburg around 2000 GMT Saturday.

Police and the law enforcement were still searching for the attackers, who fled on foot according eyewitnesses.

The motive for the attack and the financial cost of the property damage were not yet known.

Critics in Germany have charged Facebook cracks down harder on nudity and sexual content than on hate-mongering, while Justice Minister Heiko Maas has warned the social network must not “become a funfair for the far right”.

Facebook established its German headquarters in Hamburg in 2010. “As one of the most beautiful cities in Germany with the rivers Elbe and Alster, Hamburg is also an attractive location for potential new employees,” the social network had said back in 2010 when asked about its choice.

In Europe, Facebook also has offices in Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Stockholm and Warsaw.

Facebook has said it would encourage “counter speech” and step up monitoring of xenophobic commentary.

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