While many would argue that Americans’ First Amendment rights have long since dwindled from the liberties initially granted in The Bill of Rights, a decision by the European Union’s highest court could well mark the final nail in the coffin of free speech.
As Politico reports, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled that Facebook can be ordered to track down and remove content globally if it was found to be illegal in any EU country. In its ruling, CJEU said that EU law allowed local judges to order the world’s largest social network to remove illegal content, as well as delete material that conveyed a similar message under certain circumstances.
The decision is not just a slap in the face of worldwide citizens’ freedom of expression, but a big defeat for Facebook as it will force them to be more responsible for what is appearing on the internet (and thus what is seen by those who make the rules as not appropriate for the genpop).
“This judgement raises critical questions around freedom of expression and the role that internet companies should play in monitoring, interpreting and removing speech,” Toby Partlett, a Facebook spokesman, said in a statement.
“We hope the courts take a proportionate and measured approach to avoid having a chilling effect on freedom of expression.”
Of course, it won’t as EU bureaucrats have hardly shown the ability to undertake measured responses when it comes to cracking down