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· Posted on
September 16, 2021

Media companies are responsible for third-party comments on their socials...Yikes

Uh oh... media outlets are now responsible for the comments on their corporate social media pages.

What's the key learning?

  • Media companies are now legally responsible for the comments Facebook users leave on their posts
  • The ruling has put a heap of responsibility on media companies to watch user activity on their socials
  • This may also limit what individuals and influencers post on social media in the future

Background: Let's rewind to 2019. The UK locked in a Brexit deadline, the Amazon was on fire...and a man named Dylan Voller sued Fairfax Media for defamation.

What happened: The big Q on everyone's lips was: could media companies be held responsible for the comments of Facebook users on their page? And the answer is...YES.

What else: It's safe to say media companies were pretty shocked by this. So they appealed the decision. Fast-forward to today, and the High Court says the answer is still yes. Now, it means media outlets can be held responsible for the comments on their corporate social media pages.

So what's the key learning?

💡On the one hand, this ruling is a big step forward in giving victims of social media attacks a way to seek justice. On the other, it could be seen as limiting freedom of speech.

💡Whatever the case, it puts a whole heap of responsibility on these media companies to be watching their social media pages like a hawk. 

💡This will definitely have some consequences for what these companies can post on social media in the future - and what they allow people to post as part of a discussion forum. This ruling might not just affect media companies, but also individuals, influencers and bloggers. 

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