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Old 30th May 2017, 10:32 AM   #1
Giz
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‘liked’ a Facebook post - convicted of defamation

From the article:

"In the first case of its kind in Switzerland, the 45-year-old unnamed defendant from Zurich was found guilty after he ‘liked’ several posts on Facebook accusing Erwin Kessler, the president of an animal rights group, of racism and anti-Semitism.
...
Mr Kessler then brought a case against the defendant, arguing that by ‘liking' the posts the man spread their content by making them visible to a larger number of people, and that he acted with intent to harm and without any justifiable cause.
...

Zurich court judge Catherine Gerwig said at the trial on Monday said that ‘liking’ the posts was “spreading a value judgement”

She said that a 'like' is associated with a positive, meaning he clearly supported the posts' content. The court ruled that the defendant couldn’t prove that the statements about Mr Kessler were true or that he had "serious reasons" to believe them to be so."


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017...post-landmark/


I suppose it was inevitable that this would happen sooner or later. I wonder what the ramifications will be.
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Old 30th May 2017, 10:39 AM   #2
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Guilty!
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Old 30th May 2017, 11:01 AM   #3
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There is no punishment too extreme for anybody on Facebook.

[x] like
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Old 30th May 2017, 11:22 AM   #4
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Wow, voicing an opinion can get you busted?

Originally Posted by casebro View Post
There is no punishment too extreme for anybody on Facebook.

[x] like

Then there's that
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Old 30th May 2017, 11:51 AM   #5
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The Swiss need to get into a war or something, gain a sense of perspective. The irony here is the plaintive himself was jailed some years back... for criticising Jewish slaughter methods. In a country where you can get a criminal record for washing your car on the 'wrong day' these people should know to be more careful.
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Old 30th May 2017, 11:56 AM   #6
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I had a case in Family Court where my client was brought up on charges of violating an Order of Protection for writing mean things about his wife on Facebook. My motion to dismiss was denied. I would have loved to have appealed it but it wasn't practical for him to do.

It still bothers me that the judge refused to see a Facebook post as a private communication between friends. I knew we were sunk when I opened the opinion to see he had written "friends" in quotation marks.
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Old 30th May 2017, 12:00 PM   #7
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Old 30th May 2017, 12:11 PM   #8
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Thankfully, I'm not Swiss. I'd be happy to like the page to death.

(Unless there's some kind of extradition for it. Then I'd reconsider.)
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Old 30th May 2017, 01:22 PM   #9
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Why doesn't Facebook have a button for "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"? Or at least Voltaire emoji.
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Old 30th May 2017, 01:34 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
... http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017...post-landmark/

I suppose it was inevitable that this would happen sooner or later. I wonder what the ramifications will be.
In the US that would be reversed on appeal. Over there on the other side of the pond they have weird defamation laws so who knows.
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Old 30th May 2017, 02:43 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
Wow, voicing an opinion can get you busted?
Europe (and Britain) is funny that way. They have many admirable things (like UHC) but sociologically they are absolutely overboard about things like free speech vs hate speech, protecting criminals and open boarders.
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Old 30th May 2017, 03:02 PM   #12
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Guilty. The button is called "Like", but the actual funtion is to publish the message to a wider audience with the liker's endorsement.

If publishing the message counts as defamation, then endorsing it and republishing it via Facebook's "like" function necessarily also counts as defamation.
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Old 30th May 2017, 03:08 PM   #13
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Old 30th May 2017, 03:55 PM   #14
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Is "someone else published it first" ever a successful defense in cases of defamation?
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Old 30th May 2017, 04:43 PM   #15
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Is it not possible to "like" a post without embracing its content? Certain of TM's post come to mind...
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Old 30th May 2017, 04:55 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
Wow, voicing an opinion can get you busted?
Unfortunately, it's not just about expressing an opinion.

As others have pointed out, when you Like something on Facebook, other people can see it. This serves to spread the thing you liked to a larger audience, who may then also Like it. The thing spreads through the network regardless of whether people actually support it or not.
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Old 30th May 2017, 04:58 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Metullus View Post
Is it not possible to "like" a post without embracing its content? Certain of TM's post come to mind...
Yes. Facebook has a number of reactions available. Your choices are Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry.

If you Angry a post it sends a different message to your network than if you Love a post.
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Old 30th May 2017, 05:57 PM   #18
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^Not always. You may like the post even if the content makes you angry. It depends on where that anger is directed, at poster or content.
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Old 30th May 2017, 07:36 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Guilty. The button is called "Like", but the actual funtion is to publish the message to a wider audience with the liker's endorsement.
I thought it was the "share" button that spread the message.

The "like" button only informs the author that you like the message. Everybody who views the message will know that you like it but they have already seen the message so it hasn't "spread".
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Old 30th May 2017, 07:40 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Metullus View Post
Is it not possible to "like" a post without embracing its content? Certain of TM's post come to mind...
Facebook's Liking mechanism includes a publication function. Whether you embrace the content or not, you are spreading it with your explicit endorsement.

I suppose one could mount a defense on the basis that social media is full mindless trash, and "liking" something on Facebook is an insincere animal reflex.

Throwing Facebook under the bus alongside yourself *might* work, as a defense.
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Old 30th May 2017, 07:58 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I thought it was the "share" button that spread the message.

The "like" button only informs the author that you like the message. Everybody who views the message will know that you like it but they have already seen the message so it hasn't "spread".
Your friends can see that you have Liked a thing without first having seen the thing themselves.
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Old 30th May 2017, 08:32 PM   #22
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What if you like something ironically but are too lazy to try to pick out the right emote to distinguish that feeling?

People do this all the time on twitter by retweeting things that they disagree with vehemently.
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Old 30th May 2017, 08:35 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by ChristianProgressive View Post
^Not always. You may like the post even if the content makes you angry. It depends on where that anger is directed, at poster or content.
Facebook's repertoire of six emotes isn't sophisticated enough to convey that kind of nuance.
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Old 30th May 2017, 08:50 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
Wow, voicing an opinion can get you busted?




Then there's that
It can when it cease to be an opinion and becomes libel.

The question is here : if post X is obviously libelous, do liking X express solely an opinion, or does it endorse and spread the libel. The court obviously agreed with option 2 and i think the same : the like is the same as posting "i agree and think the same as you" and you republish it.

Last edited by Aepervius; 30th May 2017 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 30th May 2017, 08:51 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Your friends can see that you have Liked a thing without first having seen the thing themselves.
I only get notified when somebody on facebook likes or replies to something I posted.

I can't see the value in being notified that "friend X likes <total stranger>'s post". My notifications would overflow with such trivial messages and I have few facebook friends.
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Old 30th May 2017, 08:59 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I only get notified when somebody on facebook likes or replies to something I posted.

I can't see the value in being notified that "friend X likes <total stranger>'s post". My notifications would overflow with such trivial messages and I have few facebook friends.
Yeah, well, that's how it works, regardless of whether you see value in it or not.

I didn't think it did, but when I started looking, I started seeing that things were in my newsfeed labelled "(so-and-so) liked this". They're not Notifications, but they do pop up in the News Feed.
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Old 30th May 2017, 09:21 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Yeah, well, that's how it works, regardless of whether you see value in it or not.

I didn't think it did, but when I started looking, I started seeing that things were in my newsfeed labelled "(so-and-so) liked this". They're not Notifications, but they do pop up in the News Feed.
Er no.

Facebook employs some algorithm to prioritize who's posts you see in your news feed (they needn't be facebook friends). You can change that priority in your settings and even "unfollow" some posters.

Some of the the posts in my news feed may well inform me that "<friend> likes this" but that isn't the reason that the post is in my news feed.
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Old 30th May 2017, 09:43 PM   #28
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Is the telegraph also guilty of defamation? I'd never heard of this guy but now, thanks to that article, I know his name and that people think he's an anti-semite.

They're spreading the defamatory information regardless of whether they've indicated that they like the news.
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Old 30th May 2017, 10:52 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Er no.

Facebook employs some algorithm to prioritize who's posts you see in your news feed (they needn't be facebook friends). You can change that priority in your settings and even "unfollow" some posters.

Some of the the posts in my news feed may well inform me that "<friend> likes this" but that isn't the reason that the post is in my news feed.
That's what I thought too, until I actually looked into it.

There's also a thing called the Ticker, which shows your friends' activity in real-time. I've got mine turned off, and I can't work out how to turn it back on again. I'm okay with this.
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Old 30th May 2017, 11:47 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
That's what I thought too, until I actually looked into it.

There's also a thing called the Ticker, which shows your friends' activity in real-time. I've got mine turned off, and I can't work out how to turn it back on again. I'm okay with this.
I have also looked into it. Your time line may be publicly available but not your activity log.

I have never heard of this "ticker" before and there is nothing on facebook about it. It may be something that facebook no longer provides.
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Old 31st May 2017, 12:16 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I have also looked into it. Your time line may be publicly available but not your activity log.

I have never heard of this "ticker" before and there is nothing on facebook about it. It may be something that facebook no longer provides.
Possibly. I've seen it appear as the page is loading in my browser, but it disappears once it's fully loaded. Like I said, I don't miss it.
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Old 31st May 2017, 01:09 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Yes. Facebook has a number of reactions available. Your choices are Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry.

If you Angry a post it sends a different message to your network than if you Love a post.
The point is that I can "like" a post without endorsing it. I can even quote a post without endorsing it. Kinda like a newspaper might report a story.
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Old 31st May 2017, 01:33 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Metullus View Post
The point is that I can "like" a post without endorsing it. I can even quote a post without endorsing it. Kinda like a newspaper might report a story.
The "like" is the endorsement.
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Old 31st May 2017, 01:46 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The "like" is the endorsement.
A like could be given for a lot of reasons, though.

It doesn't necessarily mean that I endorse holding lit bottle rockets in your hand.

It might mean that I like the idea of calling out Nazis in general, not that I agree that the particular person is a Nazi.
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Old 31st May 2017, 02:06 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The "like" is the endorsement.
I can easily 'like' a post or an article or a book without endorsing its content. I can find a post entertaining (see the collected works of TragicMonkey) without endorsing its content (again, see the collected works of TragicMonkey, a large selection of which would not only be not endorsed by any sane person but would be illegal in most jurisdictions.) I concede that there might well be some sort of Facebook law that says that one cannot "like" a post without endorsing its content, but if there is this is the first I've heard of it.
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Old 31st May 2017, 02:10 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Metullus View Post
I can easily 'like' a post or an article or a book without endorsing its content. I can find a post entertaining (see the collected works of TragicMonkey) without endorsing its content (again, see the collected works of TragicMonkey, a large selection of which would not only be not endorsed by any sane person but would be illegal in most jurisdictions.) I concede that there might well be some sort of Facebook law that says that one cannot "like" a post without endorsing its content, but if there is this is the first I've heard of it.
The court is allowed to examine intent. Why this person liked the post is of key importance to the decision. This didn't happened in an abstract vacuum of hypothetical discussion.
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Old 31st May 2017, 02:32 PM   #37
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I would assume intent is irrelevant here. The issue isn't whether the accused agrees with the statement or not, it's whether they republished it. The act of Facebook 'liking' causes the item 'liked' to be published, doesn't it?
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Old 31st May 2017, 02:34 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Facebook's Liking mechanism includes a publication function. Whether you embrace the content or not, you are spreading it with your explicit endorsement.

I suppose one could mount a defense on the basis that social media is full mindless trash, and "liking" something on Facebook is an insincere animal reflex.

Throwing Facebook under the bus alongside yourself *might* work, as a defense.
Personally I believe the judge should be thrown under a bus!!!!!
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Old 31st May 2017, 03:00 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by fuelair View Post
Personally I believe the judge should be thrown under a bus!!!!!
Seriously, man. Seek help.
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Old 31st May 2017, 03:55 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Guilty. The button is called "Like", but the actual funtion is to publish the message to a wider audience with the liker's endorsement.

If publishing the message counts as defamation, then endorsing it and republishing it via Facebook's "like" function necessarily also counts as defamation.
So facebook was sued as well and lost? What about the ISPs? The servers that the data passed through?
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