Politics Facebook dealt blow in landmark free speech case

muck

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Germany
The Federal Court of Justice of Germany has ruled that Facebook's terms and conditions violate users' rights. The ruling was based on a lawsuit by two Germans whom Facebook had banned for thirty days each for snide remarks on refugees. The FCJ has now ruled that in doing so, Facebook unduly infringed on the duo's freedom of speech. While the court acknowledged that as a private company invested with corporate personhood Facebook is not generally under an obligation to disseminate opinions it disagrees with, it said the company must not ban users merely because they have given offence.

In the future, the social media platform must inform German users they are considered to be in violation of the community guidelines and could be sanctioned. The user must then be given an opportunity to argue against Facebook's view point. Only through interacting with the user may the company decide to press sanctions, and only so in [grave] cases where its rights should reasonably outweigh those of the user. Facebook must also end the practice of deleting comments without explaining to users as to how exactly their content was violating the rules of the platform. (Source, German)

FCJ rulings have somewhat of a signalling effect for numerous countries which have adopted or adapted Germany's Civil Code, i.e. Japan, the Netherlands, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey. So, this is kind of a big deal.

It's not quite the decision I'd hoped for, but much better than I'd feared.
 
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But... isn't Facebook a "private company"? Thus allowing them to do "whatever they want"?

It's good though, better late than ever.

Hopefully it will be broaden to political interference and various censoring.
 
But... isn't Facebook a "private company"? Thus allowing them to do "whatever they want"?

Yeah, we get that, a private company making billions on its users and ads, and which has a clear pro-Dems, pro-BLM and pro-Cancel culture bias.

If you happen to be against any of the aforementioned groups and political parties, and are vocal about it, YOU are hate speech and should be censored.

F*** FB and Zuck.
 
Will they take any notice of Germany - no - just carry on laughing all the way to the bank

They will just carry on - same as the EU and all its stupid fines - these companies are bigger than the countries trying to control them
 
Will they take any notice of Germany - no - just carry on laughing all the way to the bank

They will just carry on - same as the EU and all its stupid fines - these companies are bigger than the countries trying to control them
With this verdict, Facebook could now be held in contempt of court. A wide range of measures could be ordered against them to secure their compliance, such as the physical seizure of property or the ordering of detention for contempt against individuals for up to six months.

What's with your choice of words, though? "Stupid fines"? Surely, fining them for their unlawful actions is better than doing downright nothing? Especially if the tax payer will benefit from the fine? But I would point out to you that the EU had a digital tax on its agenda, which would've hurt Facebook substantially, but postponed it on the pressure of both the Trump and the Biden administrations.

Big Data is headquarted in the US and it'd be up to Uncle Sam to do something about their obvious abuse of market power.
 
With this verdict, Facebook could now be held in contempt of court. A wide range of measures could be ordered against them to secure their compliance, such as the physical seizure of property or the ordering of detention for contempt against individuals for up to six months.

What's with your choice of words, though? "Stupid fines"? Surely, fining them for their unlawful actions is better than doing downright nothing? Especially if the tax payer will benefit from the fine? But I would point out to you that the EU had a digital tax on its agenda, which would've hurt Facebook substantially, but postponed it on the pressure of both the Trump and the Biden administrations.

Big Data is headquarted in the US and it'd be up to Uncle Sam to do something about their obvious abuse of market power.
Germany have not got the balls to take on Facebook - EU law is not American law - and I can pretty much guess their lawyers are much better than Jerman ones

So it will be single finger to Germany and its court

They will quite happily move their staff out of Germany if that is what it takes, and good luck on the 'fines'

Laughing all the way to the bank...........and some

They will treat your Government and Legal system like something they have scrapped off their boot (Y)
 
The fines are symbolic more than anything and will not impact these corporations in the slightest.

Recently, was it yesterday or the day before?, Amazon got fined 888mil€ for some unlawful actions. Can't remember what it was.
Anyway, though shy of 1bil€, which can appear to us as a considerable amount of money, the dough brought by the fine will be quickly redistributed among various bureaucratic organs. It is doubtful the taxpayers will ever see the color of it or even enjoy, one way or another, the fallout of such fines.

It is also utterly peanut for them.
I don't know what financial sanctions FB will have to face in that case, but regarding Amazon one has to keep in mind the net revenue of the company, in 2020, was US$386B.
FB's revenue, substantially lower, are still around US$86B.


Sure now FB can be held in contempt of court, but if the past years have showed us anything is that, even when summoned before the US Congress and the US Senate, the heads of these Big Tech companies are perfectly comfortable with lying under oath.

Just like they are perfectly fine with not dealing with the still rampant and egregious threat of child-pornography and human-trafficking.
But I suppose their mind is focused on dealing with "more present threats".
 
I don't understand you two. You'd rather they did nothing, then?
 
No.

It's good something was done.

Though that something, in the end, will turn out to be more symbolic than truly meaningful. That kind of lawsuit is not likely to be repeated as often and as much as they actually should.
These big tech companies have infringed on a lot of rights, violated the laws of many countries, participated (and still are) in the propagation of harmful material (terroristic propaganda, human trafficking, criminal activities, etc...), unlawful interference, etc...

That thing in Germany does not even qualify as a slap on the wrist, which is made even less meaningful considering it took place in Germany and not the US. In other words: far from the nest.
Germany? Where is that? Isn't that the country with the nazis?
 
I don't understand you two. You'd rather they did nothing, then?
If Germany wants to do something, get your ISP's and Mobile networks to delist Facebook

It's straight forward

However, they continue with this farce of taking it to court and doing rock all - big headline fines they never collect and in the EU can't even produce audited accounts for..............

Pathetic to be honest and all for stupid people's public consumption - whilst the real people in power are taking a big back hander
 
Others can use the same argument. The complexity of mediating their system on a state by state basis would be impossible for any known algorithm. They would need to pull the plug.

Am surprised they haven't threatened that like amazon did with Aussie's they were taxing them....which they are and amazon had to suck on that threat. Same in NZ. They pretend they have their own rules.
 
Mean while ......................Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

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But... isn't Facebook a "private company"? Thus allowing them to do "whatever they want"?

It's good though, better late than ever.

Hopefully it will be broaden to political interference and various censoring.
Through their actions and behaviors, they have effectively turned themselves into a sort of public utility. As such, they don't get to have full control of what they publish, just like the electric company can't charge a consumer whatever the company feels like.
 
A social network like fb or twiter main source of income is advertising and that's where it can be controlled by a sovereign government if it has political will.
 
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