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The Effect of Freedom of Expression in Social Networks

The Effect of Freedom of Expression in Social Networks

Amélie Heldt examines the effect of fundamental rights between private individuals in the judgements of the Federal Constitutional Court, especially Article 5 (1) Sentence 1 of the Basic Law. The objective is to investigate from a constitutional perspective whether and to what extent communication such as social networks should respect the freedom of expression of their users when moderating contributions and comments. A certain connection to the right to free speech could arise, among other things, from the fact that the that information intermediaries play an extremely important role in online communication and have become an essential part of the everyday lives of many users. In the first part of the thesis, the original reflections on the theory of indirect third-party effect and its application by the Federal Constitutional Court will be addressed. The focus will also be on the development of recent years since the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court in the Fraport case. In a second step, the public communication of analogue rooms will be shifted to digital platforms, which are under private law, and their effects on the exercise of fundamental communication rights. The practical part examines where the legal limits of content moderation may lie if information intermediaries delete legal user content due to a violation of their terms of use.

Photo by Erik Lucatero on Unsplash
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Project Description

Coming soon.

Project Information


Duration: 2018-2020

Research programme:
RP1 - Transformation of Public Communication

Third party

Cooperation Partner

Contact person

Dr. Amélie Pia Hennemann-Heldt, Maître en droit
Associated Researcher Power of Opinion & Digital Media

Dr. Amélie Pia Hennemann-Heldt, Maître en droit

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