Social media companies and governments are often seen in a tug-of-war, but Facebook landed itself in trouble in Germany after a top court ruled the social media giant's actions as illegal. Facebook had removed racist posts and blocked the account of the author without informing the user or giving the reason for shutting them down.
The German court's ruling wasn't against the removal of content or suspension of the account, rather it found Facebook's actions of not informing the user before removing the said post or suspending the account. The German court claimed that Facebook's terms of service agreement regarding removal or deletion of posts and blocking or suspending accounts for violation of community standards were "null and void" for not informing the user of the actions.
Hate speech in Germany
As per the German law, a speech or comment that incites the public or threatens peace of the country is considered hate speech. The post, which Facebook removed, alleged that "Islamist immigrants" are free to murder with "impunity" in Germany.
"Migrants can murder and rape here and nobody cares! It's about time the Office for the Protection of the Constitution sorted this out," the post read, Reuters reported.
Facebook reacted to the judgement and said that it has zero tolerance for hate speech on its platform. "We have zero tolerance for hate speech, and we're committed to removing it from Facebook," a company spokesperson said.