A Court Ruling in Austria Could Censor the Internet Worldwide

A little more than a year ago, I wrote with concern about the risk that a single EU court within single EU member state would become the censor for the world. That fear has now become reality. In a ruling Thursday, the Austrian Supreme Court ordered, pursuant to local defamation rules, that Facebook remove a post insulting a former Green Party leader, keep equivalent posts off its site, and do so on a global scale.

The case started with an April 2016 Facebook post, in which a user shared an article featuring a photo of Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek, then-chair of Austria’s Green Party, along with commentary labeling her a “lousy traitor,” “corrupt oaf,” and member of a “fascist party,” apparently in response to her immigration policies. This is core, protected speech in the United States. But it was deemed defamation under Austrian law. And in a series of rulings, Austrian courts ordered that Facebook take down and keep off any such post, and do so around the world.

To continue reading this article in Slate, go to:
https://slate.com/technology/2020/11/austria-facebook-eva-glawischnig-piesczek-censorship.html

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