Facebook does not have to delete inflammatory posts against refugee

Facebook still does not have to actively search its network for illegal content against a refugee and delete it. This was decided by the Würzburg Regional Court on Tuesday.


A Syrian refugee whose September 2015 selfie with German Chancellor Angela Merkel was misused for hate comments and false accusations lost his application for an injunction against the internet giant. He must therefore continue to search for and report defamatory posts against him himself. Facebook had not adopted the defamations of third parties as its own and therefore could not be forced to cease and desist, the presiding judge of the First Civil Chamber justified his ruling. "It is therefore a matter of third-party content of the users of the portal."

Slanderous photo montages

The lawsuit against the U.S. company came about because the Syrian refugee was falsely portrayed as a terrorist and assassin in defamatory photo montages showing him with Merkel. It is also claimed that he tried to kill a homeless man in Berlin. The illegal post was shared hundreds of times. The refugee therefore demanded that Facebook delete not only the original post, but also all duplicates. Because the company did not do so completely, the refugee sued. His lawyer now sees the legislator as being primarily responsible, because appeals to voluntary action are not enough, for example with high fines. It must hurt companies like Facebook financially to violate applicable law. The case was heard in Würzburg because the fugitive's lawyer has his office in the residential city. (SDA)

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