Feb 6, 2017

Syrian refugee sues Facebook over fake news

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.

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Japan to close schools through late March to control coronavirus outbreak

A couple takes photos in front of the Olympic rings in Tokyo. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Thursday that the government will ask elementary, middle and high schools around the country to close until late March as an attempt to contain its novel coronavirus outbreak, AP reports.

Why it matters: The government's decision — impacting 12.8 million students across 34,847 schools — comes as concerns mount about the spread of the virus in Japan, which has 189 confirmed cases and hundreds more abroad the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Go deeper: The latest coronavirus updates

What the coronavirus means for Trump's presidency

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

A poor response to the coronavirus could be politically devastating for President Trump, and so far his administration has given the strong impression that it’s still scrambling as the risk of a pandemic mounts.

Why it matters: There’s only so much any president can do to stop a virus from spreading, and for now the coronavirus is still very much under control within the U.S. But if the disease get worse in the months ahead, and if the administration seems to be caught off guard, that spells trouble for public confidence in Trump.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health

Coronavirus updates: New global case numbers surpass China's

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. As Denmark and Estonia reported their first cases Thursday, Scott Morrison, prime minister of Australia — which has 23 confirmed infections — told a news conference, "The risk of a global pandemic is very much upon us."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health