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Dr. Matthias Kettemann
explains how users of internet platforms can sue for the recovery of deleted content during a Brown Bag Lunch at the University of Graz.
About the Presentation
A private order of public communication has emerged. Since social network services fulfil important communicative functions in political communication processes, the question of public interest and the limits of public law to their private power must be carefully examined. Much has been written about the failure of companies to delete problematic content. This Lunch Talk will turn the question around and ask under what conditions users can sue for content recovery and under what circumstances courts have recognised "must carry" obligations for social networking services.
This question will be analysed by means of a selection of US and German court cases on the issue of account recovery and the re-publication of deleted posts, videos and tweets. The analysis will also point to a larger issue of systemic relevance, namely the different treatment of states and private companies as threats and/or guarantors of fundamental rights in the compared jurisdictions. Finally, it will be shown why it is important not to consider the private order of communications as separate (or even separable) from the public interest.
More light in the darkness of private norm setting and norm enforcement is urgently needed, because one thing is certain: what Facebooks and YouTubes of our time allow in terms of communication and under what conditions Twitters and TikToks delete content and posts has a great influence on public communication and thus on the conditions under which we allow democratic discourses to take place, in which the distribution of rights and goods is decided.