Lawyer Jun Drags Twitter Thursday November 24, 2022 in German Court | Born’s IT

Must Musk and Twitter abide by German rules (laws) or does the German judiciary guarantee a “Lex Musk”? This question will be heard in a German court tomorrow, Thursday 24 November 2022. Specifically, it concerns the request to remove on Twitter, according to the NetzDG, the false accusations against the anti-Semitic commissioner of Baden-Württemberg, Michael Blume. Twitter refuses because it’s disproportionate. Following the actions of Elon Musk, who positioned Twitter as a platform for “free speech” and gutted its workforce through layoffs – including in the area of ​​moderation teams – Twitter is now fundamentally in conflict with German law and can no longer effectively comply with German laws against hate mailings.

Lawyer Jun takes Twitter to court

The information came to my attention on Twitter yesterday, Würzburg lawyer Chan-jo Jun filed a lawsuit against Twitter in a German court.

The lawsuit concerns the moderation of content, which must take place within 24 hours according to German and European legislation. A German law obliges social media platforms to promptly respond to reports of hate speech and to remove illegal speech within 24 hours of bringing it to the platform’s attention.

But Musk has already announced that he sees Twitter as a hotbed of “free speech,” where opinions can be expressed freely. Also, Elon Musk has either laid off a large part of the workforce or resigned. There doesn’t appear to be a moderation team in Germany anymore and Twitter can no longer meet the requirements of German law. Therefore, Twitter massively clashes with German law and Musk has to expect serious legal consequences for his company.

The question is to what extent hate speech on Twitter can be removed within 24 hours of notification under the German NetzDG. Attorney Jun, who specializes in IT and media law at JunIT Rechtsanwälte and is known from previous proceedings, then initiated proceedings against Twitter in Frankfurt. The client of the Würzburg lawyer is the anti-Semitic commissioner of Baden-Württemberg, Michael Blume. Of course, this is particularly explosive, since Michael Blume’s work is not limited to Germany and he likes to be a projection surface for hateful messages in his work.

Enter TechCrunch This article briefly on the facts, but does not go into the facts much. However, lawyer Jun is quite active in the media (he runs a YouTube channel, for example) and has provided fodder for the German Publishing Network (RND). The editors yesterday This article published, which deals with this issue in more detail.

The lawsuit addresses the question of whether “freedom of expression” also means “freedom of access”. Attorney Chan-jo Jun says he will use Musk’s tweet above in court as evidence that illegal content remains visible on Twitter.

Attorney Jun is representing Michael Blume because wrong actions about him were spread on Twitter (among other things, Blume was accused of having an affair with a minor). Twitter has refused to remove these tweets, deeming it unreasonable. However, Jun wants to get his client that Twitter must eliminate all “essentially identical statements” according to the NetzDG. However, this requires a powerful moderation team, which Twitter doesn’t have.

Jun is quoted in the RND article as saying that Twitter can no longer afford such a team. Musk has put Twitter in financial trouble. The teams involved are hard to reach after the mass layoffs, Jun said, and legal letters are needed to get a response.

Jun now sees an opportunity for the Frankfurt court to clarify many key issues. Twitter may try to filter news via geo-blocking for Germany. However, this does not apply to internationally distributed tweets. RND quotes Jun as saying that geoblocking is not suitable for such cases because Blume’s work is not limited to Germany. The lawyer is also pursuing the conviction trial and says “I am concerned about the fight against hate crimes and the fatal effects they have on our democracy.” Because not many victims of hate speech take action against it. Jun then asks “Do we want to enforce German law or follow Musk’s business models?” This should be clarified by Thursday.

Also this relationship (Paywall) of the Washington Post should support the arguments of the lawyer Jun. As for content moderation, according to inside Twitter sources, Elon Musk has limited the scope of moderation to anything he deems violent. Moderation of hate speech and the previous deliberative approach to content moderation has been actively undermined.

Other Twitter splitters

In reality, one could write ten articles a day about Twitter and its latest developments. I’ll spare myself, but I’d like to get rid of some information. mean so Washington Post or This Page reports that since Musk took over Twitter and the resulting chaos and uncertainty, hundreds of advertisers have not run any ads in the past 2 weeks. It includes a third of Twitter’s top 100 top customers and 14 of its top advertisers, including Jeep and Mars. This means huge revenue losses.

Twitter is currently under financial scrutiny – they are running out of money – and there are reports like here or herethat external service providers may no longer receive payment of invoices. Musk and his team are trying to renegotiate some contracts. At the same time there is messagesthat Musk no longer wants to fire Twitter, but is already looking for new people. Musk, he writes New York Times, used the same tactics on Twitter as Tesla and SpaceX (firing people, speculating on bankruptcy, and invoking a hardcore work culture). Things have been going well for the aforementioned companies (so far), although Tesla is facing some problems, including legal ones. In any case, thanks to this management style, Musk reduced his estimated fortune from $340 billion to $170 billion in just a few days.

Meanwhile, in the US there are the first voices questioning the consequences of a failure of Twitter with the disappearance of the short message service. There are comments like “who needs Twitter, it’s just a self-portrait platform” here in the blog. But things are not that simple. For example, the platform is used by security professionals to share and discuss insights – if Twitter no longer exists, the question is where that exchange can take place.

Also This article outlines what journalists will lose if Twitter disappears (I heard a similar statement from a news anchor on a German news program about a week ago). The US authorities are also concerned about the disappearance of Twitter because some alerts (earthquakes, forest fires) etc. are disseminated through this platform. And there are those who question the value of Twitter and the messages posted on it in terms of topicality. There is no archive that holds posted tweets.

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