back to article News website deserves a slap for its hate-filled commentards, say 'ooman rights beaks

Fining a news website for offensive article comments posted by its readers is not a violation of the freedom of expression, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday. Delfi, one of the largest news websites in Estonia, had argued that the authorities were wrong to hold it accountable for rather rude user-submitted …

  1. Shady

    News website deserves a slap for its hate-filled commentards

    Hands up everyone who thought this article was going to be about the Daily Mail

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: News website deserves a slap for its hate-filled commentards

      I gave you an upvote anyway, but I thought it was for Fox News...

      1. dotdavid

        Re: News website deserves a slap for its hate-filled commentards

        I thought it was The Register, but then I realised they'd said "News" site :-P

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: News website deserves a slap for its hate-filled commentards

          Anyone who comments on a Register article is an idiot!

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: News website deserves a slap for its hate-filled commentards

        Ah... fascinating.. downvotes for mentioning Fox News in an unfavorable light. Thanks guys... have one on me.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. gerdesj Silver badge

      Mr coder, sometimes comments here can get a bit feisty but nowhere near the level implied by the article.

      Besides, just because you don't see a comment doesn't mean it wasn't written. There is a frisson of moderation around here. If I had to guess, then there's a blacklist of various sorts (If commentard=="eadon" or ip_in_set(naughty_people) or word_in_lists(naughty_defamatory_interesting) etc etc) and a greylist consisting of whoever's turn it is to actually read comments and approve them. I don't think it's any more complex than that but then as I said above: what you don't see ...

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        "sometimes comments here can get a bit feisty but nowhere near the level implied by the article"

        Yo mama's data is so unstructured CERN can't write visualizations for it!

  3. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    "this is all over 230 quid"

    No, it isn't. It's about who is responsible for the comments and what laws should apply to the hosting company which publishes them.

    As the author says "in a case that was all about the principle" did El Reg's editor not read the article before commenting?

  4. Andrew Jones 2

    I thought the existing law was that provided that a website never removed or edited comments, they were not deemed to be the "publisher" ??

    1. Alister

      I think you are correct regarding current UK law.

      However, in the case of the Reg, they do apply some light moderation, and therefore would probably be deemed liable for abusive comments. Thankfully, they do tend to jump on ad-hominem attacks and outright abusive posts, so content like that in the case mentioned wouldn't last long.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      I'm not sure if that's true, and I seem to remember things have changed relatively recently as well anyway. It's confusing keeping up with a moving target, even in a field I'm supposedly expert on (which this isn't).

      But I think the time element is very important too. If you get a complaint or request to remove something, then you're definitely in trouble if you don't do so in a timely manner. So you may decide that the complaint is unreasonable, but in that case you're now effectively accepting liability for said comment, defending it, and up for punishment if it's found to be defamatory. So I guess most publishers will take the easy route, and delete any comment they get a complaint about. It's far cheaper to hit delete than it is to pay a lawyer for an opinion, let alone actually fight the case.

      I seem to recall there's also some ruling that once you edit any comments, or have any moderation policy, then you're accepting liability for everything. Although this defence probably doesn't get you off if someone complains about a comment and you don't take it down. Although surely at that point, you've just started a moderation policy?

      I'm so glad I'm not a lawyer...

  5. Alan J. Wylie

    Godfrey v Demon Internet Service

    UK court case establishing a much broader principle back in 2001:

    Demon Internet didn't remove a Usenet posting from its servers after being requested to do so. Court found against Demon.

    1. David 140

      Re: Godfrey v Demon Internet Service

      Ah - those halcyon days of yore when Demon was a proper ISP...

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