Individual European courts can order social media giant Facebook to take down content on a global scale if it is declared to be illegal, ruled the European Court of Justice (ECJ) today.
Publishing the ruling this morning, the ECJ declared, “EU law does not preclude a host provider such as Facebook from being ordered to remove identical and, in certain circumstances, equivalent comments previously declared to be illegal.”
The ruling also explained that Facebook is, “Not liable for stored information if it has no knowledge of its illegal nature or if it acts expeditiously to remove or to disable access to that information as soon as it becomes aware of it.”
“That exemption does not, however, prevent the host provider from being ordered to terminate or prevent an infringement, including by removing the illegal information or by disabling access to it.”
The case initially emerged after a politician from Austria’s Green party, Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek, sued the social media platform over comments published by a user that she claimed were harmful to her reputation.
Facebook has in the past said that such a ruling would threaten freedom of expression.
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