Reclaim the Net

Is Germany protecting some online speech rights more than the US?

A 2018 decision to temporarily ban two users in Germany because of their comments about migrants posted on the platform has come back to bite Facebook, since the country’s Federal Supreme Court has now ruled that this case of censorship violated the users’ right to free speech.

Facebook at the time found the comments to be derogatory and treated them as hate speech, cutting the two users off without giving them a chance to respond and appeal. The court focused on this point to find it unacceptable under the law of the land in force at the time, slamming also Facebook’s censorship rules and the way they are enforced.

Facebook is not alone in its notorious and arrogant system of removing content and blocking users without notifying them about it first – and without explaining the reasons later – but the German Supreme Court said this would have to change going forward.


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