EU can purchase Facebook to eliminate prohibited material worldwide, court guidelines

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Facebook is dissatisfied with the court’s choice.


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The European Union can purchase Facebook to keep an eye on and eliminate prohibited material from the platform, even if it’s published by individuals beyond the EU, according to a landmark judgment by Europe’s leading court.

The Court of Justice of the European Union stated that Facebook might require to abide by takedown demands worldwide. “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 court stated Thursday in a┬ánews release.

The judgment connects to the case of Eva Glawisching-Piesczek, the chairwoman of Greens Parliamentary Party in Austria who asked an Austrian court to order Facebook to eliminate remarks that she stated were defamatory.

Facebook slammed the judgment, stating that it raised some significant concerns around flexibility of expression and the function web business ought to play in tracking and eliminating prohibited material.

“At Facebook, we already have Community Standards which outline what people can and cannot share on our platform, and we have a process in place to restrict content if and when it violates local laws,” stated a spokesperson for the business. “This ruling goes much further. It undermines the long-standing principle that one country does not have the right to impose its laws on speech on another country… We hope the courts take a proportionate and measured approach, to avoid having a chilling effect on freedom of expression.”

The choice gets here amidst a dispute about how significant EU laws can be in requiring web business to eliminate material. It follows a judgment recently by the very same court that mentioned Google does not need to use the “right to be forgotten” by European residents worldwide.

Article 19, a UK-based advocacy group for flexibility of expression, stated the court’s choice suggests that social networks platforms might be obliged to instantly filter users’ posts. Thomas Hughes, Article 19’s executive director, stated the judgment may imply that EU states can purchase the elimination of material in other nations, even if the material in concern is not prohibited there.

“This would set a dangerous precedent where the courts of one country can control what internet users in another country can see,” he stated. “This could be open to abuse, particularly by regimes with weak human rights records.”

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