Insults, calls for violence and death threats – the German Environmental Aid wants to take decisive action against certain groups on Facebook. The DUH sees Facebook mother Meta as responsible.

The German Environmental Aid (DUH) has sued the Internet giant Meta for threats of violence and death in public Facebook groups. Federal Managing Director Jürgen Resch is demanding that the Facebook parent company close certain groups and is trying to enforce this with a model lawsuit before the Berlin Regional Court, as he announced on Wednesday. “We no longer accept the persecution and threats in such social media groups,” said Resch.

He himself and his employees have experienced massive hostilities and insults for years, which have now culminated in calls for violence and fantasies of violence.

According to a judicial spokeswoman, the lawsuit is to be heard on April 13 at the Berlin Regional Court. This was originally planned for next Tuesday. However, the appointment had to be postponed due to illness, said the court spokeswoman.

No agreement reached with Meta

According to Resch, environmental aid initially tried to come to an agreement with Meta. However, the Facebook parent company refuses to support groups such as “Stop German Environmental Aid (DUH)!” with around 50,000 members, in which threats of violence and death were regularly posted and sometimes stayed for weeks. Resch explained that there was talk of “bounty” and “hiring a killer”. Some of the threats turned into reality. For example, he was sent an envelope with a shot cartridge.

A Meta spokeswoman said hate speech is unacceptable and that the spread of hate speech on the Meta platforms is actively countered. Meta is constantly investing in technology and reporting tools so that hate speech can be identified and removed even more quickly. “In that case, we removed the content that was reported to us.”

According to Resch, he has filed more than 300 criminal charges so far. However, these would not have ended the threat. So far, Meta has been asked in vain to delete and remove it, explained lawyer Juliane Schütt. The group refers to the possibility of reporting hate comments or filing criminal charges. “With the lawsuit, we want to ensure that Meta no longer shifts the responsibility onto the victims, but instead removes the breeding ground for hatred in its networks,” emphasized Schütt.