Domingo, 16 Junio, 2019

Austrian court: Facebook must delete hate postings worldwide

Zuckerberg speaks during a news conference at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto Facebook must remove hate speech posts, Austrian court rules
Ramiro Mantilla | 09 May, 2017, 10:17

The case was filed a year ago by Austria's Green Party, whose leader Eva Glawischnig, was subjected to online abuse by a fake account.

More bad news for Facebook on the content front: An Austrian court has ruled the company must remove posts deemed to be hate speech, Reuters reports.

The Green Party wanted to wipe the offending posts and posts across the platform that were copied verbatim against Glawischnig, which they were granted, as simply blocking users didn't have much of an effect. In fact, last April politicians in Germany voted for legislation to fine Facebook €15 million if they failed to remove illegal hate speech from their social networks promptly.

Though the court noted that automating this process should be no problem for the social media platform, they could not be reasonably expected to hunt down similar, rather than identical, offensive postings. The European Union is now considering laws that cover all member states, according to Reuters. The appeals court noted that it would be hard to find similar postings, but that Facebook must remove the posts in question as well as any verbatim reposts.

The Austria Press Agency says Monday's decision arose from Facebook's appeal of a lower court ruling ordering it to delete the postings.

The party is also hoping to force Facebook to identify the holders of fake accounts, and to pay damages for hate speech being spread on its platform, arguing that the ability to win damages would make it easier for individuals to pursue legal action against the company, given the costs involved.

He wrote, "These reviewers will also help us get better at removing things we don't allow on Facebook like hate speech and child exploitation". Last month, Facebook published a paper on how it is working to combat "information operations", which include fake news campaigns, from spreading on their platform.

A Green lawmaker, Dieter Brosz, said Facebook could no longer claim it was just a platform and needed to take responsibility for tackling hate postings.