Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Facebook is ordered by Austrian court to take down hateful posts written on a fake profile in landmark freedom of speech ruling
Facebook has been ordered by an Austrian court to take down hateful posts written on a fake profile in a landmark freedom of speech ruling.
The Green Party in Austria launched court action against Facebook Ireland Limited because of online comments made about MP Eva Glawischnig, 47.
Social media chiefs have been told they must delete the remarks as soon as they can in a move that could create a precedent for other cases around the world.
Facebook user 'Michaela Jaskova' - a fake profile - had described Glawischnig in April this year as a 'rotten traitor' and a 'corrupt tramp'.
The Greens said Facebook was responsible because the post was not deleted despite multiple requests.
Media lawyer Maria Windhager said the Greens had won the 'first round' with Facebook by winning a preliminary injunction against the offensive posting at the Commercial Court of Vienna.
She explained that the decision shows that Facebook, which normally relies on its own automated community standards and terms and conditions, cannot escape the Austrian legal jurisdiction.
The company normally quotes Californian law, where the head office is based, which is not as stringent as Europe's defamation laws.