Facebook sued by Syrian refugee misrepresented as Brussels attacker

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A Syrian refugee named Anas Modamani took a selfie with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, but after the Brussels terror attacks he was misrepresented in fake news articles that identified him as one of the attackers. (KGO-TV)

A Syrian refugee is suing Facebook for defamation in Germany, and it started with a selfie snapped with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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Anas Modamani, 18, says Facebook didn't do enough to stop fake news articles that labeled him as a terrorist. The selfie went viral and became synonymous with Merkel opening Germany's doors to refugees, then came the Brussels terror attacks.

Suddenly, the photo reappeared on Facebook in a post falsely labeling Modamani as one of the attackers.

"I first cried as I thought, 'This is not me,'" he said. "'What will the future hold for me.' This is really no joke now. This is serious."

Modamani received death threats. The suit filed in Germany claims Facebook took too long to respond to multiple requests to take down the false postings. Facebook took the articles down and has since apologized.

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Germany is now considering a law fining social media sites for each fake news report they fail to take down.
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