Originally posted at EuroActiv
A top German court has ruled that Facebook acted illegally in taking down racist posts and blocking the account of their author because the social network failed to inform the user or give a reason for shutting them down.
The judgment issued by the Federal Court of Justice on Thursday (29 July) further complicates a fraught debate over toxic discourse on social networks as Germany girds for a general election in September that polls show may not deliver a stable government.
It is all the more striking because the comments made by the unnamed plaintiff evidently violated Facebook’s community standards governing so-called hate speech, which is banned under German law if it threatens the peace or incites violence against minority groups.
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”…
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