A prominent German environmental group said on Wednesday it was suing Facebook’s parent company Meta, accusing the social media firm of failing to clamp down on insults and threats of violence and murder.
Environmental Action Germany (DUH) said in a statement that Meta META-Q had failed to shut down Facebook groups in which threats of violence were regularly posted, sometimes remaining visible for weeks without being taken down.
These included threats to poison activists’ food and a picture of six gun cartridges, it said, adding that the case would be heard on March 28 at a regional court in Berlin.
“We no longer accept the persecution and threats in such social media groups,” said DUH chief Juergen Resch. “Instead, we are now taking action against the platform operator who is making the digital space available.”
A spokesperson for Meta said hate speech was unacceptable and that the company took action when it was aware of it.
“We continuously invest in technology and reporting tools, so that it can be found and removed faster. In this case, we have removed the content flagged to us,” said the spokesperson.
A German court last year ruled against a law obliging social media firms to block or delete criminal content and report serious offences to the police, handing a partial victory to complainants Google and Meta.