How Choosing the Right Printer Helps Small Businesses and Content Creators to Save Time, Maximise Productivity and Achieve GrowthRead more The United States Contributes USD $223 Million to Help World Food Programme (WFP) Save Lives and Stave Off Severe Hunger in South SudanRead more Eritrea: World Breastfeeding WeekRead more Eritrean community festival in Scandinavian countriesRead more IOM: Uptick in Migrants Heading Home as World Rebounds from COVID-19Read more Network International & Infobip to offer WhatsApp for Business Banking Services to Financial Institution Clients across AfricaRead more Ambassador Jacobson Visits Gondar in the Amhara Region to Show Continued U.S. Support for the Humanitarian and Development Needs of EthiopiansRead more Voluntary Repatriation of Refugees from Angola to DR Congo ResumesRead more Senegal and Mauritania Are Rich in Resources, Poor in Infrastructure, Now Is the Time to Change That Read more Madinat Jumeirah: Dubai’s Stunning Four Hotel Beach Resort Offers Unirvalled Benefits for Summer StaycationsRead more

CNN blocks access to its Facebook page in Australia

show caption
CNN has blocked access to its Facebook page in Australia after a court ruled media companies were liable for defamatory user comments on their stories./AFP
Print Friendly and PDF

Sep 30, 2021 - 12:37 PM

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — CNN has blocked access to its Facebook page in Australia after a court ruled media companies were liable for defamatory user comments on their stories.

On Thursday, Australian users trying to navigate to CNN’s Facebook page received a message that the content was restricted.

Australia’s High Court upheld a ruling earlier this month that held media companies responsible for user comments on a story, opening them to potential prosecution under the country’s heavy defamation laws.

The US-based news operation said on Wednesday it had asked Facebook to help publishers disable the comments on their platform in Australia but the tech giant “chose not to do so”.

“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,” a CNN spokesperson said in a statement on the outlet’s website.

Facebook announced in March that publishers would be able to turn off comments for specific posts, but has not introduced the page-wide feature sought by CNN.

In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said: “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.”

The original case was brought by Dylan Voller, an Indigenous former youth detainee who claimed publishers of the Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, and Sky News were responsible for defamatory user comments posted under stories about him on their public Facebook pages.

The media outlets had argued they were not responsible for the comments’ publication but were ultimately unsuccessful in appealing the decision to Australia’s top court.

The court said media companies could screen or block defamatory comments if they wanted.

Australia’s defamation laws are notoriously complex and among the strictest in the world.

The Facebook spokesperson said the company supported mooted legislative reforms and looked forward to “greater clarity and certainty in this area”.

Despite walking away from Facebook in Australia, CNN has said it will keep publishing on its own platforms Down Under.

ZONNTECH.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.