WUERZBURG, Germany, March 7 A German court on
Tuesday rejected a temporary injunction against Facebook
in a case brought by a Syrian refugee who sued the social
networking site for failing to remove faked posts linking him to
crimes and militant attacks.
The Wuerzburg district court said in a preliminary ruling
that Facebook is neither a "perpetrator nor a participant" in
what it said was "undisputable defamation" by Facebook users,
but simply acting as a hosting provider which is not responsible
for pre-emptively blocking offensive content under European law.
The posts in dispute featured a picture showing Anas
Modamani, a 19-year-old from Damascus, taking a selfie with
Chancellor Angela Merkel in September 2015 at a refugee shelter
in the Berlin district of Spandau.
Modamani's image was subsequently shared on Facebook on
anonymous accounts, alongside posts falsely claiming he was
responsible for the Brussels Airport bombing of March 2016 and
the setting on fire of a homeless man in December last year by
six migrants at an underground station in Berlin.
The decision is subject to appeal, a court statement said.
(Reporting by Eric Auchard; Editing by Christoph Steitz)