German Court Imposes Rules on Facebook Account Blocking

Facebook has the right to remove specific posts and block users, although it must adhere to certain rules. That is what a German court decided today.


For example, users should be warned in advance that their account will be deleted, and they should be allowed to explain their contributions. Furthermore, if a message is deleted, the users must be informed at least afterwards.

The ruling concerns the terms of use on which Facebook relies to remove discriminatory or inappropriate content. However, not all contributions banned by Facebook are illegal under German law.

In the two cases before the court, a man and a woman had made derogatory comments about Muslims and immigrants. According to the court, however, those statements fall under the freedom of expression.

The court ruled that Facebook had to put the messages back online and that it cannot remove them again because the rules did not apply at the time.

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