Facebook, the social media giant, is being sued by Anas Modamani, a Syrian Migrant, for falsely accusing him of being involved in terrorism on the social networking site. Modamani had taken a selfie with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel when she visited a migrant shelter where he was living. The selfie was taken by him in 2015. After the Brussels attacks, he was accused of being involved in terrorism on social media.
Syrian Migrant sued Facebook after getting fed up with wrong accusations
He was pretty sad and worried when his passing resemblance to one of the terrorists involved in a terrorist attack in Brussels resulted in him being falsely accused of being one of the attackers. He told the BBC that when the claims began being circulated on the social media platforms, he was in Munich visiting some of his friends.
He further told the BBC network that some of his friends advised him to stay at home and avoid going out in public which he did. He added that his other friends motivated him to go to the police and report what was being said about him. The wrong accusations started becoming less and less but the attack on the Christmas market in Berlin last month brought all those false accusations back. Also, the attempted murder of a person sleeping by a gang of young migrants brought those accusations back. Again, he was accused of being a culprit.
He had disabled his own Facebook account by then. However, after being targeted for something he never did, he was angered and hence, he decided to take legal action. Facebook does not think like him though as its spokesperson defended the social networking site.
Facebook disabled the reported content promptly: Facebook Spokesman
The Facebook spokesman said, “We received a takedown request from Mr. Jun alleging that a specific item of content on our platform violates Mr. Modamani’s right of personality.” He further said that access to that reported content was disabled quickly so they do not believe there is any basis for him (Mr. Anas Modamani) to seek an injunction.
Modamani’s lawyer Chan-jo Jun is seeking an injunction preventing the social media giant from publishing the slanderous image of the Syrian migrant Anas Modamani in the context of terrorist attacks. The social networking site has come under pressure for hate speech and fake news stories with Thomas Opperman, a junior partner in coalition government of Germany and the chief of the Social Democrat Party, who called for the tech giant to be fined up to €500,000 (£437,000) for each post that had hate speech or fake news.
In response to complaints that the social media giant received from users over how it controlled content, the tech giant said last month that it intended to introduce tools to unable fake news stories from spreading in its platform.