German group sues Facebook owner Meta over death threats

A German civil liberties group has filed a lawsuit against Facebook owner Meta over anonymous death threats received by members of its organization.

The group, called Die Tageszeitung e.V., filed the suit against Meta in a German court on Monday, claiming the company had failed to take adequate measures to protect its members from abusive online content.

The lawsuit follows a series of threats against the group's members that began in December 2019. The threats, which were sent through anonymous accounts on Facebook, included death threats and other forms of harassment.

The lawsuit alleges that Meta had failed to respond to the threats in a timely manner, despite being notified of the situation. It further claims that the company had failed to take adequate measures to protect members of Die Tageszeitung e.V. from the threats.

The lawsuit seeks a court order requiring Meta to take immediate action to remove the death threats and other abusive content, as well as to take steps to prevent similar threats from being posted in the future.

In a statement, the group said it was seeking to hold Meta accountable for its failure to protect its members from online abuse.

“We believe that companies like Meta have a duty to protect their users from harassment and abuse, and that they must take reasonable steps to do so,” the statement said. “We are taking this legal action to ensure that Meta takes responsibility for its failure to protect our members and other users from online abuse.”

The lawsuit comes as social media platforms are facing increasing scrutiny over their handling of abusive content. Meta is just the latest company to face legal action over its failure to protect its users from online threats.

The outcome of the lawsuit is yet to be seen, but it could set an important precedent for how social media companies respond to online threats and abuse. It remains to be seen whether other companies will follow suit in taking more action to protect their users from online harassment.