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Australian court rules media outlets are liable for Facebook comments: Could that happen in the US?

An Australian court ruled on Wednesday that media outlets are ‘publishers’ of allegedly defamatory comments posted by third parties on official Facebook Pages.

The High Court dismissed arguments from some of Australia’s largest media organizations. The court ultimately argued that by facilitating and encouraging the comments – the companies had participated in their communication.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

The decision opens the door for media organizations to be sued for defamation in Australia.

No such process exists in the U.S., as Facebook – like other social media networks – are platforms, where publishers cannot fully-control the content on them, whether those are comments, posts, or sharing of media.



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