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CNN Quits Australian Facebook to Avoid Responsibility for Comments


The US TV network CNN has decided to disable its Facebook page in Australia following a ruling by the country’s High Court that media outlets are liable for defamatory comments made under their published posts, the Sunday Morning Herald reported.

CNN released a statement to The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in which it explained that it previously asked Facebook to disable the comments section under their posts but was turned down.

“We are disappointed that Facebook, once again, has failed to ensure its platform is a place for credible journalism and productive dialogue around current events among its users,” the media company said as quoted by the Herald.

On September 8, media organizations in Australia lost a High Court case that saw them go against a former Northern Territory youth detainee Dylan Voller who argued that media outlets hold responsibility for third-party comments under their articles posted on their public Facebook pages.

The High Court rules that media organization were responsible for what Facebook users said in the comment section of their posts because they “encouraged and facilitated postings by members of the forum and were therefore held to be participants in their publication from the outset.”

“While it’s not our place to provide legal guidance to CNN, we have provided them with the latest information on tools we make available to help publishers manage comments. We are also working closely with the review of defamation laws established by state, territory and federal Attorneys-General,” a Facebook spokesperson told the Herald.

The premiers of Victoria Daniel Andrews and New South Wales Gladys Berejiklian are overlooking a solution to the ruling.

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