Facebook faces lawsuit over alleged hate posts in Germany

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and two other top executives are now part of a German investigation over alleged hate postings

By: Tech Desk | Published:November 5, 2016 4:41 pm
Facebook, Facebook Germany, Facebook hate posts, Facebook Germany investigation, Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook hate posts in Germany, Facebook WhatsApp data sharing, technology, technology news Under German law, Facebook is legally obliged to remove racist or Nazi-themed content as soon as it becomes aware of it.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and two other top executives are now part of a German investigation over alleged hate postings, a media report said. Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and its European policy director, Richard Allan, are also under investigation, according to German newspaper Der Spiegel.

“All three have been accused by Chan-jo Jun, a Bavarian lawyer, of failing to ensure posts on Facebook containing racist abuse, threats of violence and Holocaust denial are removed,” telegraph.co.uk reported on Friday. Jun filed a complaint in the Munich prosecutors office saying that he has listed 430 offensive Facebook posts which were reported to the company but never deleted.

Under German law, Facebook is legally obliged to remove racist or Nazi-themed content as soon as it becomes aware of it. On the allegations, Facebook said that neither the company nor its employees had broken any German law.

“The country’s government has already threatened to hit social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter with hefty fines if they fail to delete racist content,” the report added.

In September, German privacy regulator had ruled against Facebook and WhatsApp’s new data sharing policy. The regulator ordered Facebook to stop collecting and storing data of German users of its messaging app WhatsApp and to delete all data that has already been forwarded to it. The Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information had said Facebook was infringing data protection law and had not obtained effective approval from WhatsApp’s 35 million users in Germany.

“After the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook two years ago, both parties have publicly assured that data will not be shared between them,” commissioner Johannes Caspar said in a statement.

Facebook had said it would appeal against the order. EU and US regulators have said they would scrutinise changes to privacy settings that WhatsApp made in August.

With IANS inputs