Bloggers must not be thought of liable for third-party comments on their posts in circumstances when they haven’t particularly intervened within the content at situation, as doing so would strongly have an effect on freedom of expression.
This really is the clear position on the EDRi-member Article 19 that comes in relation to a case now pending with the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in which a Polish municipal councilor was sued mainly because there had been allegedly defamatory comments to one of his posts, addressed towards the mayor of the town, throughout the electoral campaign. While the blogger removed the respective comments, the Polish courts ruled that he should really be held liable for the comments around the basis of an electoral law and argued that operating a web-site that permits such comments need to be regarded as an action which is contrary to public policy along with the principles of social coexistence.
On 19 March 2013, Article 19 filed third-party intervention submissions within this ECtHR case taking into consideration it significant for the concern of intermediary liability. In its opinion, “bloggers should not be considered responsible for third-party comments as publishers in circumstances where they have not specifically intervened in the content at issue. This is equally true when bloggers put in place a moderation system. To hold otherwise would have a serious chilling effect on freedom of expression.”
Source: EDRi-gram newslette