Real OC (& SoCAL) Politics

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Media Liable for Comments Posted on Their Facebook Pages: Australian High Court Ruling

In a landmark decision, Australia’s apex judicial body, the High Court, has dismissed an appeal from major media outlets claiming they were not responsible for comments posted by readers or audience members on their social media pages. Experts believe the judgement will have wider ramifications across not just media outlets but businesses, government entities, and community organisations, who will have to moderate comments even more stringently—or remove the option altogether—to ensure defamatory comments are not publicised. The case in question revolved around Dylan Voller, a former inmate at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre. Voller sued the publishers of news outlets The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, and Sky News Australia over comments posted by individuals on their Facebook pages in 2016 and 2017. While the news stories posted online were not defamatory, Voller’s lawyers argued that the comments featured in the posts were defamatory and that the media companies …

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