Media companies scramble after judge rules they are liable for Facebook comments

International News

There is a one-month-old article on The Guardian Website relevant to how other jurisdictions are handling the regulation of Social Media Platforms. This case is particularly interesting in light of the Uganda Communications Commission requirement for Online Data Communicators to seek authorisation by way of registration.   

In the article, it is said that major media companies and Facebook are scrambling to come to grips with a landmark ruling by an Australian judge that found publishers are legally responsible for pre-moderating comments on the social media site. A supreme court judge the New South Wales found that commercial entities, including media companies, could be regarded as the publishers of comments made on Facebook, and as such had a responsibility to ensure defamatory remarks were not posted in the first place.

The ruling was made in a pre-trial hearing over a defamation case against several media outlets over comments made by readers on Facebook.

News organisations in Australia were already liable for Facebook comments made on articles posted on their public pages but until now the test related to whether a publisher had been negligent in not removing potentially defamatory comments.

In a pre-trial ruling, the judge found that media companies in effect had a responsibility to pre-moderate social media content…..if you knew or ought to have known a defamatory post was there, you had to take it down.

Read the full article here….

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