Facebook does not have to actively seek and delete defamatory posts linked to Anas Modamani, a court has ruled. The Syrian filed a case after his selfie with Angela Merkel was manipulated to link him to Islamist attacks.
Facebook case leaves lots of open questions
A district court in the southern German city of Würzburg ruled on Tuesday that social media giant Facebook is not obliged to seek and delete posts falsely linking Syrian refugee, Anas Modamani to crimes committed by other migrants.
"Claim is rejected, Facebook wins in front of Würzburg regional court," Modamani's Bavarian lawyer Chan-jo Jun wrote on Facebook.
"Whenever there's a refugee-related incident, he's trotted out as Merkel's model refugee, and the crimes are blamed on him," Jun said prior to Tuesday's verdict.
No one should have to put up with that, so now "Modamani is fighting back," the IT attorney added, who has filed various legal complaints against the US social networking company, including demands that Facebook comply with Germany's hate speech laws.
Threats against lawyer
Modamani's lawyer Chan-jo Jun told Deutsche Welle he had recieved threats when defending the case.
"When you fight against Facebook, we found out, you have to take into account that Facebook will attack you personally, and I also learned that there are threats," he said.
"There were serious threats, people asked me to discontnue my activities against Facebook or else there would be harm done to me or my family."
He said Facebook had no incentive to remove photos which were driving traffic to the network.
Facebook was also attacked for its role in the spread of fake news, leading up to November's US presidential election. As a result, the company announced that it would introduce measures to take down "unambiguously wrong reports" being shared on its platform.
It said it would offer a simpler reporting process for users to flag suspected fake news, display warnings next to statements identified as false by independent fact-checking organisations, and cut off advertising revenue to fake news sites.
@dwnews - Famous refugee sues Facebook for fake news