Alessio Jacona / Flickr cc

Syrian refugee Anas Modamani snapped a selfie with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2015, and it swiftly went viral. But fake news stories soon started to pop up, linking Modamani to the March 2016 terrorist attacks in Brussels, the Berlin Christmas market attack in December, and other serious crimes in Germany.

Now he is suing Facebook, per WaPo. The suit, which goes to court Monday, urges Facebook to act faster — even preemptively — to detect and remove fake stories from its site. If Modamani wins, the social network will need to admit that it is liable for the content it publishes.

Facebook only deletes those URLs that are pointed out to them in written form... We are fighting for all reposts to be deleted. — Modamani's attorney, Chan-jo Jun

What's next: The German government says if Facebook doesn't get faster at deleting potentially libelous stories, it will force compliance. In a statement, Facebook said further action wasn't needed because it "quickly disabled access to content" that Modamani's legal representatives had reported.

Go deeper

U.S. sanctions Chinese officials over Uighur human rights abuses

Photo: Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty Images

The Treasury Department announced Thursday that the U.S. has sanctioned four Chinese Communist Party officials and the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau for human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

Why it matters: The sanctions designations, pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Act passed by Congress in 2016, mark a significant escalation in the Trump administration's response to the Chinese government's detainment of over 1 million Uighurs in internment camps.

Updated 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 12,118,667 — Total deaths: 551,271 — Total recoveries — 6,649,930Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 3,081,383 — Total deaths: 132,570 — Total recoveries: 953,420 — Total tested: 37,431,666Map.
  3. Public health: Cases rise in 33 statesFlorida reports highest single-day coronavirus death toll since pandemic began.
  4. Science: World Health Organization acknowledges airborne transmission of coronavirus.
  5. Travel: Young adults are most likely to have moved due to coronavirus.
34 mins ago - World

China's extraterritorial threat

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

All multinational companies and executives need to worry about breaking U.S. law, no matter where they're based or doing business. Now, they need to worry about Chinese law, too.

Why it matters: The projection of U.S. norms and laws around the world has been an integral (and much resented) part of America's "soft power" since 1945. As China positions itself to replace the USA as global hegemon, expect it to become increasingly assertive along similar lines.