Australian court rules media liable for Facebook comments – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-09-08 14:00:00 –

Canberra, Australia >> Wednesday, the Australian Supreme Court ruled that the media was the “publisher” of suspected defamation comments posted on the official Facebook page by a third party. ..

The High Court argues that Australia’s largest media organizations, Fairfax Media Publications, Nationwide News, and Australian News Channel, intend to recognize and convey defamatory content in order for people to become publishers. I rejected it.

The court found that the company participated in the communication by promoting and encouraging comments by a 5 to 2 majority vote.

The decision will result in media organizations being sued for defamation by former juvenile detainee Dylan Voller.

Voller wants to sue television stations and newspapers over comments on the Sydney Morning Herald, Australian, Centralian Advocate, Sky News Australia, and Bolt Report Facebook pages.

His defamation proceeding filed in the New South Wales Supreme Court in 2017 has been put on hold, and another question has been decided as to whether the media company will be liable for Facebook user comments.

Both companies have posted content on their pages about news articles that mention Voller’s time at the Northern Territory Youth Detention Center.

Facebook users responded by posting a comment claiming that Voller was defamatory.

NewsCorp Australia, which owns two of the two broadcast programs and three newspapers that were the subject of the defamation case, called for a change in the law.

In a statement, News Corp Australia Chairman Michael Miller said the ruling “responsible for those who maintain a public social media page, even if they are unaware of comments posted by others on that page. It’s important to admit that you may be asked. “

“This highlights the urgent need for legislative reform and calls on the Attorney General of Australia to address this anomaly and align Australian law with equivalent Western democracy,” Miller added.

Nine, the new owner of The Sydney Morning Herald, said he hopes that the current review of defamation legislation by Australian state and territory governments will take into account the publisher’s ruling and its consequences. rice field.

“We are clearly disappointed with the outcome of that decision because it will affect what we can post on social media in the future,” said Nine’s statement.

“We also look at the positive steps taken by people like Facebook since the Voller case first began, which allows publishers to switch off comments on the story,” Nine said. He added.

Facebook did not immediately respond to the request for comment.

Voller’s lawyer welcomed the ruling on its widespread impact on publishers.

“This is a historic step in achieving Dylan’s justice and protecting individuals, especially vulnerable people, from unmitigated social media mob attacks,” a lawyer’s statement said. increase.

“This decision has taken responsibility for what it should be. For media companies with vast resources, to monitor public comments in situations where it is known to be likely to damage an individual’s reputation. “.

The High Court ruling supports the rulings of the two lower courts on the issue of liability.

The court previously ruled that only after noticing a comment could it be held liable for the continued publication of a defamation statement on a platform it manages, such as a bulletin board.

Australian court rules media liable for Facebook comments Source link Australian court rules media liable for Facebook comments

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