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2020 Corporate Responsibility Report

Joint commitment with partners

We have taken on the task of driving forward the social discussion on digital responsibility. To do this, we participate in various alliances and partnerships such as the “Corporate Digital Responsibility” initiative run by the  Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection.

We emphasize our commitment by signing the Charter of Digital Networking and through our involvement in its supporting association.

We have longstanding partnerships with many organizations, associations, and initiatives with whom we work as part of our social commitment These proved particularly important during the Covid-19 pandemic: In 2020, for example, call volumes at our longstanding cooperation partner, the Telefonseelsorge crisis hotline, were consistently around 10 percent higher than usual.

The “Nummer gegen Kummer” youth counseling line has also seen increased need during the pandemic. Children and young people, parents and caregivers can call various numbers to share their concerns and needs with the counselors. Since March, there has been a 20 percent increase in the number of calls at both the parent line and the chat for children and young people, and the duration of calls is also significantly longer.

We have other partnerships, for example:

In 2020, we gave special attention to our intensive partnerships with our campaign #TAKEPART – No hate speech. We worked to intensify 44 existing and new partnerships with NGOs and organizations that are dedicated to preventing hate speech online and, above all, that activate people to join us in combating hate online. Of course, victim support and follow-up of incidents also play an important role for us. We have added organizations to our portfolio to support these goals. We have communicated this involvement with our partners very clearly: We included a small selection of organizations in our commercial highlighting “Words must not become weapons”, which was seen by many millions of people; we presented more organizations in our special feature on, and held joint events, communications and discussions with many millions of people taking part. The more than 330 million contacts reached throughout the campaign demonstrate that the topic is highly relevant for society. And that is not the only reason we are continuing our commitment in this area beyond 2020.

To make it even easier for people to reach our partners in order to engage in constructive dialog online, or who have been victims of online hate themselves or know of people impacted, we activated a Messenger chatbot on Facebook that guides users to potentially interesting partners by answering just a few questions. Facebook users were able to see the chatbot right away and many millions of people were made aware of it.