Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are not just good for connecting and communicating with people in any part of the world, but they also act as a medium for hate speech, harassment and spreading fake news. This time it’s hate speech that has brought Facebook into controversy again.
Facebook’s hate speech policies under scrutiny
A Syrian refugee residing in Germany has dragged the social networking giant to court over a selfie taken with Chancellor Angela Merkel and posted on its site. At that time, 19-year-old Anas Modamani did not know that a simple selfie would get him tagged as a terrorist.
Following the post, fake news that Modamani had ties with Islamic terror groups and has participated in attacks and violence started surfacing. He was even accused of burning alive a homeless man in Berlin during Christmas, according to The Star.
There have been many instances in which such defamatory posts were spread on Facebook, which is used by over a billion people. In this case, Modamani is the victim, and he is demanding that the U.S. firm help stop such instances.
His lawyer, Chan-jo Jun has asked the social network to stop using that image. Jun said he has sent several emails to Facebook’s European headquarters and its German lawyers but has gotten no response. A verdict on the case is scheduled for Tuesday, notes Bloomberg.
In December 2015, many U.S. tech firms, including Facebook, Google and Twitter, committed to removing hate posts within 24 hours. But according to German officials, these companies hardly keep their word, and thus, lawmakers are thinking about imposing stricter regulations.
Facebook uses procedural tactics to delay lawsuits
Facebook is often accused of trying to avoid lawsuits or trials in German courts.
According to Jun, “It was only because of the media attention in this case that Facebook finally decided to send lawyers to Wuerzburg. They wanted to get access to the files.”
It’s not surprising to see such cases getting big media attention. Ironically, there are several mosques in Germany that are brainwashing youth and luring them into becoming terrorists. This is more serious than making “hateful” or “offensive” posts on Facebook, but German police are not taking any strict action against the people, according to the Gatestone Institute.
The religious gurus who are preaching anti-Semitism and ISIS-style jihadism are more dangerous to society. Hence, more attention needs to be paid to them.