A Syrian migrant who posed for a selfie with German Chancellor Angela Merkel is suing Facebook after being falsely linked to terrorism in posts shared on the social media network.

Facebook has been facing pressure to combat the proliferation of fake news reports on its platform.

In Germany, there have been numerous instances of false allegations on social media made against migrants and refugees like Anas Modamani.

The 19-year-old took a selfie with the German leader when she visited the Berlin migrant shelter where he was then living.


He had been in Germany a month after fleeing Syria and travelling to Berlin via Turkey, Greece and Serbia.

"I was first linked to attacks when my picture was circulated as being one of the Brussels attackers due to perceived resemblances between us," he told the BBC. Friends advised hm to avoid going out in public and he hoped the false allegation would go away on its own.

But another attack on a crowded Berlin Christmas market and the attempted murder of a homeless man by seven young migrants again saw him falsely accused.

He contacted lawyer Chan-jo Jun, who last November prompted an investigation into Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives. That followed a complaint alleging the company had failed to remove racist posts, in contravention of German laws against hate speech.

"Facebook is doing a very poor job with fake news," Modamani told the BBC. "Not all fake news is illegal, but where it amounts to slander then it should be taken down."

Jun has filed an injunction "seeking to prevent Facebook from publishing the slanderous image of the Syrian refugee Anas Modamani in the context of terrorist attacks".

Facebook has said a specific item was quickly disabled on request.

However, Jun claims several images falsely linking Modamani to terrorist activity are still on Facebook.

The case will be heard in Wurzburg on February 6.