Top German court tells Facebook to reinstate removed posts

Faults the company's past handling of hate speech cases
Top German court tells Facebook to reinstate removed posts

A German federal court has ruled that Facebook acted illegally in taking down racist posts and blocking the account of their authors, arguing that the company failed to inform the users or give a reason for shutting them down.

In its ruling, the  Federal Court of Justice said that the social network did not inform two users that it had removed their posts. It added that the company should have also informed and given users an opportunity to respond before suspending their accounts.

The court’s decision concerns two cases dating back to August 2018 in which Facebook deleted comments taking aim at Muslim migrants and people of immigrant origin and suspended the users’ accounts. It ordered the company to restore the posts.

The German court’s ruling comes a few weeks after Facebook’s Oversight Board criticized the company’s management for not implementing important rules that have a clear bearing on the worldwide discussion about what can be said on social media. In addition, former U.S. President Donald Trump had announced in early July that he filed lawsuits in the federal court in Florida, against Facebook – and also Twitter and Google – on the grounds of silencing conservative viewpoints.


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