CNN to stop posting content on Facebook in Australia

SYDNEY, Australia | CNN on Thursday stopped posting content to Facebook in Australia after a court ruled that news groups were responsible for defamatory comments linked to their articles on the famous American social network.

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Australian users who opened CNN’s Facebook page on Thursday saw a message telling them that content was now limited.

In early September, the High Court of Australia upheld a court ruling that the media were responsible for user comments that appear on their articles and therefore liable to prosecution under Australia’s harsh libel laws. .

The American chain said Wednesday that it asked Facebook to help publishers deactivate comments on its platform in Australia, but that the social media giant “has chosen not to do so”.

“We are disappointed that Facebook, once again, has failed to make its platform a credible place for journalism and productive exchanges between users around the news,” said a spokesperson. CNN said in a statement posted on the channel’s website.

In March, Facebook announced that its editors would be able to turn off comments for specific posts, but the US giant has yet to introduce this feature for an entire page.

In a statement, the social network said that “while it is not our responsibility to provide legal advice to CNN, we have provided them with the latest information on the tools we make available to help publishers manage comments. “.

The case had been brought to court by Dylan Voller, a former young indigenous detainee, who claimed that the editors of the dailies “Sydney Morning Herald”, “The Australian” and the channel “Sky News” were responsible for the defamatory comments on concerning, published on their Facebook pages.

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Affected media argued unsuccessfully that they were not responsible for the comments posted, but Australia’s highest court ruled that they could, if they wished, hide or block the defamatory comments.

Australia’s libel laws are complex and one of the toughest in the world.

The Facebook spokesperson said the US giant supported bills to reform existing legislation and hoped for “greater clarity in this area.”

Following its decision to no longer be featured on Facebook in Australia, CNN said it would continue to post in Australia on its own platforms.