A judge of a member state can order a Facebook, as well as other online platforms and the realities that provide hosting services, the deletion of a content considered illegal or unlawful. This is what establishes a sentence issued today by the Court of Justice of the European Union in the context of case C-18/18.
Facebook and removal of illegal content
The story has seen Eva Glawischnig Piesczek, Austrian politician and former deputy of the Greens, cite the social network in front of the judges of their own country. Debate node the comment published by a user, attached to an article shared on the personal profile and deemed detrimental to his honor. After establishing the injurious and defamatory nature of what was written, the Viennese Oberster Gerichtshof (Supreme Court) turned to the continental authority and asked it to interpret the e-commerce directive so as to determine how to act in such a situation.
It should be noted that the legislation does not attribute to the service provider (here FB) the responsibility for stored information if he is not aware of their illegality or if he acts in a timely manner to remove them as soon as he becomes aware of them. However, he must obey a prospective elimination order doing everything possible to ensure that the contents in question are no longer accessible to members, either publicly or privately.
The request, as established today by the Luxembourg institution, can come from a judge of one of the member states. Instead, platforms cannot be asked to monitor the nature of the information stored on their servers or to actively search for those that constitute a violation.