The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled social media platform are not obliged to proactively identify unlawful content or to block it worldwide if a single country’s authorities demand it.
The ruling stems from a case that began in Austria three years ago after Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek won a case for defamatory content posted on Facebook. Glawischnig-Piesczek then demanded Facebook the defamatory comments and limit access to them globally. Facebook refused, and then a case was filed against Facebook.
A service is not liable for information it’s hosting “if it has no knowledge of its illegal nature or if it acts expeditiously to remove or disable access” to the illegal content as soon as it becomes aware of it, the court said. The EU’s directive on electronic commerce also “prohibits any requirement for the host provider to monitor generally information which it stores or to seek actively facts or circumstances indicating illegal activity,” the court said.