On Monday 6th, Modamani sued Facebook when the fake news over this social media network could not stop proliferation.
The selfie taken by Anas Modamani, a Syrian refugee, with the Chancellor Angela Merkel went viral in August 2015. The photo soon changed his life when individuals started calling him a terrorist over the social media.
Facebook, however, removed those fake news but could not get rid of all the posts by individual users.
At first, Modamani considered the photo as a “good-luck charm” but when the subject changed from appreciation to depreciation, he was all washed out.
“I saw my picture posted. But of course, this was not me!” talking to the media, Modamani said. “I thought immediately: What does this mean? What about my future? This is really no joke now. This is serious.”
Not only this but Modamani was also linked to another attack occurred in Berlin on 19 December 2016. He was once again shocked and the news spread like wildfire over the social media and once again, Facebook could not remove those fake news.
After being flagged, this fake news on Facebook was taken down. However, by then it was already shared over 200,000 times.
Asking for their rights, Modamani’s foster mother Anke Meeuw said, “We kept using the online system to ask Facebook to take down articles. But, we always got the same reply: ‘This photo is not against their standards’.”
Chon-jo Jun, Modamani’s lawyer said that while Facebook has removed some of the fake news, there are still many such posts to be taken down.
Jun has created a case which could help define if Facebook has done enough to remove all the fake news, or it should not allow such news at all.
While defending themselves, Facebook said, “We are committed to meeting our obligations under German law in relation to content which is shared by people on our platform. We have already quickly disabled access to content that has been accurately reported to us by Modamani’s legal representatives, so we do not believe that legal action here is necessary or that it is the most effective way to resolve the situation”.
While being criticized by Modamani, Facebook has seen more criticism of the same nature from Germany. After the sharing of fake news of elections, Germany is also considering to sue Facebook over its weak system of post sharing.
Sources say that Facebook is now in the process to create a filter system. This system will be initially implemented in the US, Germany, and France.
Facebook is also joining hands with Google, to create fact-checking tools which will help them identify fake news.
Cover image: Channel New Asia