Australia's High Court has ruled that media outlets can face lawsuits over others' allegedly defamatory comments on the companies' Facebook pages, according to the Associated Press.
The case involved a "former juvenile detainee" who is hoping to sue a TV broadcaster and newspaper publishers for comments that users made about him on the Facebook pages for several media outlets, including the Sydney Morning Herald. The court ruled the companies had "participated" in the communication of the statements on the Facebook pages by facilitating and encouraging them and so could face defamation suits.
The media companies argued unsuccessfully that, to be publishers of potentially false and damaging material, they had to be "aware of the defamatory content and intend to convey it," according to the AP.
Although Australia has recently favored publishers in their battles against online platforms, the ruling contrasts with the approach of the United States and many other countries, where liability generally falls on individuals who make defamatory statements.
The U.S. legal provision known as Section 230 specifically stops online platforms and publishers from being held liable for most kinds of content posted by others.