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Austria court orders Facebook to remove defamatory content

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An Austrian court has ordered Facebook to remove content defaming a former lawmaker


An Austrian court has ordered Facebook to remove content defaming a former lawmaker – Copyright AFP/File Chris DELMAS

An Austrian court has ordered Facebook to remove content defaming a former lawmaker and post a banner on its home page announcing the decision, a court spokesman said Wednesday.

The Vienna commercial court on December 9 also ordered the internet giant to pay 4,000 euros ($4,500) in damages to former Greens party politician Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek, he told AFP.

The ruling was only made available to both the plaintiff and Facebook on Wednesday.

Glawischnig-Piesczek in 2016 requested the removal of Facebook posts that judges found defamed her and could be seen by users of the social network around the world.

The complaint also concerned messages from a fictitious account which, according to the Greens, were slanderous and which the social network refused to delete.

After a higher Austrian court referred the case to the European Union’s top court for an opinion, the European body in 2019 ruled that national courts in Europe can order online platforms to remove defamatory content worldwide.

After the December ruling, “Facebook has to inform its users within 15 days of this ruling by publishing a banner visible at the top of its home page for six months,” court spokesman Jurgen Exner said.

“Found guilty, it must immediately abstain from publishing photographs showing the plaintiff if the accompanying text” insults her.

“Facebook did not appeal,” he said.

Glawischnig-Piesczek’s lawyer Maria Windhager welcomed what she said was “progress” against hate speech, “because the platform had until now always refused to remove content”.

The former lawmaker has been informed of the identity of a woman who set up a fictitious account that insulted her. She is now allowed to share this information publicly, or sue her.

Contacted by AFP, Facebook parent Meta said it would not “share any information beyond the publication of the judgement on our website at this point in time”.



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Reddit Adds Images in Comments for Selected Communities

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Reddit Adds Images in Comments for Selected Communities

Reddit’s adding a new engagement option with images in comments now available within some 1,500 subreddits in the app.

Just as it sounds, some subreddits will now be able to switch on image posting within comment threads, providing another way for people to interact and share within these communities. Reddit also enabled GIFs in selected subreddits back in July.

As explained by Reddit:

Ever wanted to share a candid cat pic in the latest r/cats thread? Perhaps, help out a fellow r/crochet hobbyist? Or maybe even fulfill a father’s dream of being hugged by sasquatch in r/photoshoprequest? If so, this feature is for you!”

Here’s how it looks in practice (on desktop):

Reddit images in comments

As noted, it’s another way to facilitate interaction within Reddit’s highly active chat threads, which could help add context in various ways.

Though it won’t be available to all communities.

Reddit says that ‘not safe for work’ images are not allowed and will be automatically removed, with only selected, approved subreddits able to use the feature at this stage.

In SFW subreddits that turn on the feature, you’ll notice an image icon at the bottom panel of the comment section. Tap the image icon (see video below) to pull up your camera roll or desktop files, make any edits you want (on mobile only), and upload.”

It’s a simple, and potentially engaging feature update, which could help Reddit drive more interaction.

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