EU’s Top Court Declares Facebook Can Be Forced to Delete Content | Politics
On Thursday, the EU‘s highest court has declared that Facebook and similar social media can be ordered to take down posts, images or videos if asked. The order to delete a content can come even from a single EU state and can have huge global implications. Indeed, by now, Facebook can be forced to delete not only the denounced post or comment, but also similar or equivalent contents.
The decision stems from a recent news story, which involved Austrian politician Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek and Facebook Ireland. The politician sought to have Facebook remove an insulting comment about her political ideas from a private Facebook page. Since, according to her, this kind of comments could be dangerous to her career, she asked Facebook to also delete similar or equivalent comments.
After EU’s decision, the Austrian politician has praised the court’s decision, calling it a “historic step for the protection of personality rights against internet giants”.
On the other hand, this move could be considered dangerous for freedom of expression, since deleting “similar” contents could entail taking down contents which contain a critique, but no insult. Moreover, a decision of a single country may affect the spread of information to other countries, without international consent.
Therefore, Facebook sharply criticized the ruling. “This judgment raises critical questions around freedom of expression and the role that internet companies should play in monitoring, interpreting and removing speech that might be illegal in any particular country,” the company said in a statement.
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