Social Media – Defamatory comments on posts – Who is responsible…

An interesting read on ABC News by Elizabeth Byrne, the High Court of Australia is expected to rule on what could be a line in the sand for ‘publishers’ and their responsibilities around defamatory comments posted to online articles. What do you think?

Article extract –

Some of Australia’s biggest media outlets will learn today whether they have won a High Court bid to distance themselves from Facebook comments at the heart of defamation action by former Northern Territory detainee Dylan Voller. The image of the young detainee, shackled to a chair wearing a spit hood, first shown by the ABC’s 4Corners program, captured the nation’s attention.

It sparked a Royal Commission into youth detention in the Northern Territory.  It was big news in Australia, but not all of it was welcome, with stories from the media outlets posted on Facebook drawing all kinds of comments from the public. The former detainee, Dylan Voller, is now hoping to sue outlets including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, the Centralian Advocate and Sky News for publishing defamatory Facebook posts about him.

But his case against them in the NSW Supreme Court has stalled, after questions arose over whether the outlets were considered the publishers of the Facebook comments, which were posted in reply to articles written between July 2016 and June 2017.

It is an important question being considered by the High Court, which may have implications for how media operations manage platforms like Facebook in the future.

Read the full article here –  ABC News – Full Article

What do you say?