When a user comments on a Facebook post, who is responsible for it? The person who posted the comment, or the person who made the post that led to the comment? You might think it’s the former, but it seems that it might be both, or at least that’s what the Australian High Court’s ruling is trying to say, strange as that is.
According to the ruling, media companies like news outlets could in the future be held responsible for the comments made on their posts and Facebook pages. This comes on the heels of a lawsuit dating back to 2017, where Dylan Voller was photographed in 2016 being restrained at a youth detention center.
The photos led to an inquest into the conditions at these centers, and Voller later sued three Australian media outlets where he said that the comments left on their Facebook pages in reaction to the stories were defamatory. It was argued that since these outlets “invited” the comments, it legally made them the publishers of the comments.
Several courts have since found in favor of Voller’s argument. Voller still needs to prove that the comments were defamatory though, but the Australian High Court’s ruling agrees that these companies can be considered the publishers of the comments.
So many media outlets are worried about the implications of the ruling and are concerned about how it might impact future posts on social media.
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