After an odyssey through several instances, Green politician Künast wins her case: Facebook must now give her the data of all users who have verbally abused and insulted her. After several years of dispute, the Berlin Court of Appeal decides.
The Greens politician Renate Künast has been successful before the Berlin Court of Appeal after years of litigation because of hate comments. The social network Facebook has to give Künast the user data in all open cases, as the organization Hate Aid announced. Künast explained: "I have to take a deep breath now to be happy after the long fight."
The legal dispute was triggered by a Facebook post about a false quote. For this alleged statement, which was incorrectly attributed to Künast, she was overwhelmed with a whole series of the worst, sometimes sexist insults on Facebook. Before the Berlin courts, the politician wanted to get Facebook to release the personal data of the authors in order to be able to take civil action. The district court initially rejected this, but later the judges classified six of the 22 comments as "degrading".
The Green politician went before the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe. This overturned the decisions of the Superior Court in February because they violated Künast's personal rights. The Court of Appeal had to deal with the matter again and now agreed with Künast in all cases.
Her lawyer Severin Riemenschneider published the decision made on October 31 on his website. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal decided that "the applicant's right of personality should be given priority over the commenter's right to freedom of expression, taking into account the circumstances of the present case".
The organization Hate Aid, which supported Künast in court, explained: "Courts and law enforcement agencies must finally understand what and, above all, how dangerous digital violence actually is." Riemenschneider added: "It is particularly gratifying that it is now clear that officials and politicians must be given special protection."