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Abstracts of the last 4 Issues

Facebook and the Rule of Law

Stephan Koloßa

Law as a tool for balancing the relevant interests in a particular case is a means to an end. It is a robust instrument that ideally serves the community. This tool may however equally be used to harm the community. Therefore, it must be made sure it is handled in the most purposeful way, especially if substantial interests of a community are at stake. During the past decades, civil rights and freedoms have been developed on various levels, domestically as well as internationally through publicly available laws and through traceable interpretations by courts and their case law. Against such backdrop, the current normative development in the case of Facebook and its global community standards including its rigorous enforcement mechanism seems troubling particularly in terms of transparency and clarity. Facebook has become more than a globally important social media platform. Important questions therefore arise as to whether and how the rule of law prevails in such online scenarios, and most importantly in civil rights sensitive areas. This article will critically analyse the basic set of lex Facebook in the light of the rule of law. The classical procedural rule of law principles will serve as a manual and guideline. It will assess the current normative situation and point out the existing shortcomings.