A like on Twitter is sufficient for a search

A hate message as the basis of a search warrant. A raid took place yesterday because someone had liked something on Twitter.

At the beginning of February, an anonymous user wrote on Twitter that he had no sympathy for the police officers who were shot in the Kusel district. At the same time, the author of the protected tweet approached the police that they were responsible for the deaths of several people. He therefore describes the police officers as perpetrators and not as victims. Incidentally, the authorities have all, without exception, dropped the investigations into the dead Oury Jalloh, Amet Ahmad and Giorgios Zantiotis.

A Twitter like is enough for confiscation?

Felix aka lixi (@unfollowdreamy) got a like visit because of this. He is said to have endorsed this extreme tweet on Twitter, which he can no longer remember. That’s why the police searched his house at 6 a.m. yesterday morning. But Felix wasn’t the only one affected. An investigative team set up specifically for this purpose searched the network for hate comments and their sympathizers who publicly endorsed the murder of the police officers. That’s why yesterday, Monday, a total of 45 searches took place at the federal level .

Twitter: Is it even possible to distribute protected content?

The question is, however, whether even a single Like on a social media platform is sufficient for a search warrant. Insults are only punishable if such questionable content is disseminated. Basically, a like should increase the visibility of a tweet. On the other hand, only followers of the original author who have been confirmed by him can see his statements on Twitter. It is therefore legally disputed whether this has already resulted in a distribution that would be punishable.

Also, this is a claim offense. This means that the public prosecutor’s office does not investigate by itself. Someone must have filed a criminal complaint. Either someone from the private circle of the murdered police officers or one of their colleagues or superiors. Apparently, after the numerous hate comments, they wanted to ensure that action was taken nationwide.

Amazement included on Twitter! Graphic by CreativeTools.se, thx! (CC BY 2.0).

Action of the police more than questionable

The lawyer Jannik Rienhoff interviewed by golem.de said he could not understand that the police on the one hand repeatedly acted publicly indicates their overload. And then, on the other hand, you focus on such minor offenses as an insult. Rienhoff describes the procedure as “



According to his own statement, Felix has never given any personal information on Twitter. Apparently he was surfing the Internet without a VPN during the period in question. Therefore, Twitter must have passed on its IP address on request. After the BKA requested information from the Internet provider, the police then knew Felix’s identity. Felix does not want to involve a lawyer, he wrote on Twitter. He doesn’t see how this could help him.

The person concerned does not want to hire a lawyer

However, the accused will soon have to answer for his “act”. By transmitting the investigation files, a lawyer could find out to what extent investigations were carried out and what he is actually being specifically accused of. The action is questionable because you cannot change the visibility of protected tweets with likes. They remain invisible until the user of the protected Twitter account allows individuals to view their statements.

45 Raids are apparently intended to deter imitators

Anyway. If you like a questionable tweet yourself, you should think twice about it. The action had an intimidating effect on those affected, even if they only lost their smartphones in the process. But it is obviously precisely this effect that one is trying to achieve.


Lars Sobiraj started in 2000, as a career changer for various to be active in computer magazines. 2006 numerous other online magazines were added in addition to gulli.com. He is the founder of Tarnkappe.info. In addition, Ghandy, as he calls himself in the scene, since 2014 at various universities and Training institutions teach participants how the Internet works.


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