Web Sites Liable for Anonymous User Comments: EU Court
Newser editors terrified
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Oct 11, 2013 10:30 AM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Web sites can be held legally liable for anonymous user comments posted on them, the European Court of Human Rights declared yesterday, in a ruling sure to terrify news sites everywhere. The case revolves around the Estonian news site Delfi, which in 2006 posted an unflattering article about a ferry company, paidContent explains. The article prompted some angry comments, and the ferry company sued, saying some were defamatory. Courts agreed that they were.

Delfi's policies clearly stated that comment writers assumed responsibility for their remarks, which means the ferry company could have sued the offending individuals directly—if their anonymity hadn't made that impossible. "Making Delfi responsible … was therefore practical, but it was also reasonable, because the news portal received commercial benefit from the comments being made," the court said. Anti-censorship activists were appalled. "It is difficult to see how any site would allow anonymous comments if this ruling stands as precedent," one group said.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Web Sites Liable for Anonymous User Comments: EU Court is...
2%
6%
2%
13%
9%
69%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 24 comments
iq145
Oct 19, 2013 7:53 PM CDT
Important: http://www.newser.com/story/172998/anonymous-comments-are-crucial-huffpo.html
clarenccharlie
Oct 14, 2013 11:15 PM CDT
wish ever one write & get the press& senate& congress to stop drugs to many drug pusher in Hawaii I'm surrounded by mafia friends they drug dealers & friends threat·en me first a few years back at my working place it not right have but have to defend my self need help stopping Hawaiian drug pusher & mafia 40 years and strong they may have friend or family in law . costing Hawai billions one drug addicted is to many we have to get stronger law so America love for drug stop. inform on them get attention turn the table on them keep legal so I don't get arrested stop drug mafia, drug cartel please
Who_Cares
Oct 12, 2013 2:01 PM CDT
It appears that in Europe didn't figure out yet how to track the unanimous users. Here in States you might think that you are anonymous but good luck with this idea. They will track by your IP address at home, apartment, friends house, anywhere. If you go to Library they can tie you to the comments there as well. You have to assume that you don't have privacy when you blogging or posting your comments and that's the fact.