Technology

Facebook must delete hate postings, Austria court rules

Facebook has been under pressure to act more against online trolling

A court in Austria has ordered that Facebook must remove postings seen as hate speech, in a ruling that is set to have international implications. The case was brought by the country’s Green Party after its leader was targeted by a false account. The court said postings not just in Austria but worldwide must be deleted. Facebook has not yet commented. The ruling is seen as a victory for campaigners who want to make social media platforms combat online trolling.

The appeals court in Vienna ruled that postings against Greens’ leader Eva Glawischnig – and any verbatim re-postings – should be removed.

The head of the Austrian Green party, Eva Glawischnig, casts her ballot at a polling station in Vienna, Austria on 29 September, 2013.
Eva Glawischnig was targeted by fake Facebook accounts

It added that merely blocking the messages in Austria without removing them for users abroad was not sufficient.

The court said it was easy for Facebook to automate this process.

A Green lawmaker, Dieter Brosz, said Facebook could no longer claim it was just a platform and needed to take responsibility for tackling hate postings.

 

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