* Prosecutors will decide in weeks whether to act on
* Facebook's rules forbid bullying, harassment, threats
* Lawyer hopes Bavaria will hear case that Hamburg rejected
(Adds Facebook comment, details of new and prior complaint;
FRANKFURT, Sept 30 German prosecutors are again
considering whether to press charges against Mark Zuckerberg and
other Facebook executives for failing to staunch a tide of
racist and threatening posts on the social network during an
influx of migrants into Europe.
Munich prosecutors said they had received a complaint filed
by a German technology law firm two weeks ago alleging that
Facebook broke strict national laws against hate speech,
sedition and support for terrorist organisations.
Attorney Chan-jo Jun, who filed a similar complaint in
Hamburg a year ago, is demanding that Facebook executives be
compelled to comply with anti-hate speech laws by removing
racist or violent postings from their site. Jun is principal
partner of the law firm Jun Lawyers of Wuerzburg in Bavaria.
Facebook said the complaint had no merit. "Mr Jun's
complaints have repeatedly been rejected and there is no merit
to this (latest) one either," a Facebook spokeswoman said.
"There is no place for hate on Facebook. Rather than
focusing on these claims we work with partners to fight hate
speech and foster counter speech."
Facebook's rules forbid bullying, harassment and threatening
language, but critics say it does not do enough to enforce them.
A spokeswoman for the public prosecutor in Munich said a
decision would be taken in coming weeks on whether to act on the
new complaint, which names Zuckerberg - Facebook's founder and
chief executive - and regional European and German managers.
Hamburg prosecutors denied Jun's earlier complaint on
grounds that the regional court lacked jurisdiction because
Facebook's European operations are based in Ireland.
Jun wrote on his website he believed he would get a more
favourable hearing in Bavaria because the justice ministry had
signalled an openness to hearing racial hate crime cases.
Jun has compiled a list of 438 postings over the past year
that include what some might consider merely angry political
rantings, but also show clear examples of racist hate speech and
calls to violence laced with references to Nazi-era genocide.
Following a public outcry and pressure by German politicians
for failing to delete a rash of racist postings on Facebook, the
Silicon Valley social networking giant earlier this year hired
Arvato, a business services unit of Bertelsmann, to
monitor and delete racist posts (reut.rs/1WfylHe).
A rash of online abuse and violent attacks against newcomers
to Germany occurred amid a migrant influx last year, which led
to a rise in the popularity of the anti-immigrant Alternative
for Germany (AfD) party and has put pressure on Chancellor
Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic party.
(Reporting by Harro ten Wolde; writing by Eric Auchard; editing
by Mark Heinrich)