In October 2013, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) communicated their judgment on a case in which the Estonian courts had sued the news portal Delfi AS for hosting offensive and illegal comments in the comment sections of their website. The ECHR confirmed that the Estonian Courts has taken a legitimate decision, even though Delfi had removed the defamatory and offensive comments as soon as it was notified about them.
This constitutes a dangerous precedent at EU level. On one hand, freedom of expression is dangerously limited. On the other, as Article 19 has outlined “the judgment displays a profound failure to understand the EU legal framework regulating intermediary liability”. This decision highly limits the work of online portals, placing excessive burden on them to screen in real-time all the comments users leave on their website.
The European Initiative for Media Pluralism joins today media companies and civic society across the world, including Google. The Guardian and Thomson Reuters to ask for a referral of this decision to the Grand Chamber.
Let’s protect media pluralism and media freedom online and offline! Sign here www.mediainitiative.eu
More information on:
Article 19 www.article19.org