A court in Germany has ruled that Facebook illegally removed the posts and account of an unnamed author, because it did not inform the user of why the posts had been taken down.
According to Reuters, the account was removed for “racism,” due to a post it made about crimes committed by migrants in Germany.
Unlike in the United States, in Germany regulations on so-called hate speech are written by the government, not by Silicon Valley companies.
Moreover, Silicon Valley companies do not enjoy the kind of legal liability shields in Europe that they do in the U.S., meaning that it is fully within the power of a German court to order the company to reinstate a post or account.
Despite the weaker free speech protections under German law, it is, therefore, easier (at least under current conditions) for Germans to appeal to the courts to overturn acts of Big Tech censorship than it is for Americans.
In its three-page summary, the Karlsruhe-based court stated that Facebook’s terms of service regarding the deletion of posts and blocking accounts for violating its community standards were “null and void”.
This, it added, is because Facebook does not undertake to inform the user about the removal of an offensive post at least retrospectively, to advise that it is blocking an account, to give a reason for doing so, or to offer the right of appeal.
Facebook said it would review the judgment to ensure that it can continue to effectively remove hate speech in Germany.
“We have zero tolerance for hate speech, and we’re committed to removing it from Facebook,” a company spokesperson said.
According to the report, the post that Facebook removed said “migrants can murder and rape here and nobody cares! It’s about time the Office for the Protection of the Constitution sorted this out.”
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.
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