Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Be careful what you "Like" on Facebook: Man convicted for liking defamatory posts

facebook expressions

We often tell people to be careful of what they click in order to avoid accidentally falling for a phishing scam. It seems that, at least in Switzerland, you have more to worry about than just malware: You could be convicted of defamation.

According to The Telegraph, the unnamed man was convicted after clicking the "Like" button on
several posts about Erwin Kessler, the president of an animal rights group, that accused the man of being racist and anti-Semitic. The man never posted any original content about Mr. Kessler, but the plaintiff argued that the defendant actively meant to spread the defamation to a wider audience by "Liking" the posts. Court judge Catherine Gerwig agreed, stating that the action was "spreading a value judgment," adding that it's associated as a positive action of agreement. It's also interesting to note that the plaintiff was actually convicted of racial discrimination in 1998, but in the current ruling, Gerwig declared that a person can't be accused of being a racist 20 years later without proof.

It's unclear how far-reaching this judgment could become, but regardless, it's a great reminder that what you publicly post could come back to haunt you. Even if it's a simple thumbs up.

No comments:

Post a Comment