German Federal Court of Justice Prohibits Facebook from Suspending Users without Notice

The German Federal Court of Justice ruled that Facebook illegally took down racist posts and wrongly blocked accounts because the affected users were not informed.

The court cited two cases dating from August 2018 where Facebook deleted comments allegedly aimed at Muslim migrants and suspended the users’ accounts without notice. 

According to the court, Facebook wasn’t entitled to delete the posts and suspend the accounts under its April 2018 conditions of use, which barred users from violating “community standards” and banned “hate speech,” because it was not defined properly. 

“Users of the network are inappropriately disadvantaged, contrary to the requirement of good faith,” said the court.

Facebook responded that it welcomed the federal court’s ruling that it is entitled in principle to remove content according to its own policies and to suspend the accounts concerned.

“We will examine the decision of the Federal Court of Justice carefully to ensure that we can continue to act effectively against hate speech in Germany,” said Facebook. 


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