Beliefnet
The leader of Germany’s youth-dominated Piratenpartei Deutschland, the “German Pirates Party,” has admonished members to stop calling each other names on Twitter.

If they must insult one another, they need to stop doing it on the party’s highly visible social media accounts, said party Sebastian Nerz. He noted that members’ public bickering is embarrassing the party.

Pirate Party members celebrate

Ironically, the Pirates Party was founded on a platform of increased public openness — particularly the opening of all government files to the public.

The party calls for unrestricted free speech on the Internet; in particular, opposes Europe’s data retention policies and Germany’s Internet censorship law, called Zugangserschwerungsgesetz. It holds that the public has a civil right to information and has called for an end to copyright and patent laws, particularly those

that bar “pirating” or illegal copying and distribution of music, video games, computer software and movies.

In one of its more public demands, the party has promoted “an enhanced transparency of government by implementing open source governance” allowing the common citizen to be able to monitor government operations.

Nerz “criticized his party for its habit of bickering openly on the Internet, pleading with members to develop a new style of doing politics and to stop arguing over the social media service Twitter,” according to the German news site the Local. “Insults in 140 characters are not transparency. You can’t resolve a dispute over Twitter or Facebook, you only escalate them.”

He was addressing the Pirates’ first party conference since their unexpectedly strong performance in the Berlin state election in September.

“Once the Greens were Germany’s political rebels,” reported the German daily Der Spiegel. ”But on Sunday they lost their title to the Pirate Party, which won seats in a regional government for the first time. The success of their data-driven message took even the party itself by surprise.” 

Der Spiegel staff writers noted:

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