True to form, one of the most recent rulings regarding Google being sued for defamatory content, citing regulation 19 of the European Union’s electronic commerce directive of 2002, is very much in line with the U.S.’s Communications Decency Act section 230 (CDA 230).
What seems to be shaping up on the legal landscape across the world is that owners of blogs, websites, etc. and even the Google’s and Twitters of the world cannot be held responsible for the content posted by others. It is the mere fact that Google is NOT considered the content publisher that lets them escape the noose.
As the policies of Google and other website hosts state they are NOT responsible for material or content published by their users. This is NOT to say however, that those Authors or Posters of such material are “free to defame and libel” at will. Our policy has always been that it can be a very costly mistake to legally pursue anything other than the poster of the material.
If you think about it, this makes sense. Places like Google receive 100’s if not 1,000’s of requests PER DAY to remove material based on claims of it being false or defamatory. As the article states, the decision of removing or not removing should rest solely with the courts. If you are going to spend your money going to court, make sure you are armed with facts. Your legal cost will be better spent on finding the author or poster of the defamatory material than in lost court fees because you went after the site owner who’s protected by 3rd party policies.
Around the World and especially so in the U.S.,free speech is one main reason that these sites are so popular and frequented by it’s users. That is NEVER an issue, but what is becoming an issue is defamation or libel. These attacks against an individual or entity for personal or professional reasons are usually cut and dry, but remains for only a judge to decide.