Sensation at landmark ruling of HateAid lawsuit against Facebook

In the fight against digital violence, the Landecker Digital Justice Movement has won a landmark court ruling that strengthens the rights of victims and holds platform operators more accountable than ever. The Regional Court of Frankfurt am Main ruled in favor of the lawsuit filed by politician Renate Künast against Facebook (Meta) in its entirety, obliging the social network to delete illegal content consistently and much more comprehensively than before. From now on, those affected can finally defend themselves effectively against digital defamation.

The test case was realized by the NGO HateAid, which promotes the Alfred Landecker Foundation as part of the joint Landecker Digital Justice Movement.

The subject of the lawsuit was a meme with a false quote attributed to Renate Künast (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), which had been spread countless times on Facebook. The test case dealt with the question whether Facebook is obligated to proactively search for and remove not only specifically reported memes in individual cases, but also content that is similar in wording and meaning. Until now, those affected have been obliged to track down and report this content on the platform themselves. Only then is Facebook prepared to delete it if necessary.

Social media companies such as Facebook and Meta have refused to cooperate for years, so that illegal content is disseminated en masse and uncontrolled on the web. Renate Künast and HateAid have now taken legal action to clarify the extent of social media's obligation to cooperate in removing this content.

The press release (in German) on the HateAid lawsuit against Facebook here.

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