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European justice may force Facebook to withdraw defamatory comments worldwide

European Union BrusselsEuropean flags in front of the Berlaymont building headquarters of the European commission in Brussels. Bigstock

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He Luxembourg Court of Justice has ruled this Thursday that Facebook You may be forced to remove from your platform those comments that are deemed inappropriate by the judge, after the complaint of the affected.

This right, which the European courts have been pressing for comments to be sought and erased, will not only be for the European sphere, but will also have to be made worldwide.

The detonating case

In this way, the approach made by the former president of the group of the Greens in the Australian Parliament, Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek in the initial lawsuit filed against the social network in 2016, after she was the victim of numerous offensive comments that they were public on the part of a user because of their party's position on a refugee issue.

Facebook did not take any kind of action to eliminate the comments, so Glawischnig-Piesczek decided to ask the social network not to show or disseminate its image when they were accompanied by degrading or similar messages, which the social network did not do until the Court of First Instance obliged him and only when it came to accessing that material from Austria.

Subsequently, the Austrian Supreme Court stated that these were comments that sought to insult, defame and attempt against the plaintiff's honor, while consulting the EU Court of Justice if the elimination should be extended worldwide, although Facebook is not aware of them.

European laws

According to the court, “The Law of the Union does not preclude Facebook from being forced to suppress identical comments and, under certain conditions, similar to a previously declared illegal comment”, which means that If a comment has been declared illegal in a country of the European Union, it may also be requested that such prohibition be applied to other countries that do not belong to this

A decision that for some experts may be difficult to apply, as it will depend on the legislation of other countries as well, while for Facebook the measure will threaten the freedom of expression, since the use of filters to avoid these specific contents could eliminate others that if are relevant

What is certain is that the European Commission has an eye on the proliferation of messages of offensive, hate, xenfobos and racists that flood the networks and although they claim that they have taken measures and are eliminating a large number of them in less than 24 hours, Brussels does not consider that it is doing enough to limit its publication.

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