Court finds man guilty of ‘liking’ Facebook posts

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A landmark ruling has seen a Facebook user convicted of defamation for ‘liking’ a post that accused another man of anti-Semitism and racism.

In the first case of its kind in Switzerland, an unnamed 45-year-old man was found guilty after he pressed the ‘like’ button on several posts attacking a man named Erwin Kessler, the president of an animal rights group.

Mr Kessler brought a case against the defendant and argued that by ‘liking’ the post, the man had made the messages more visible on the social network.

Judge Catherine Gerwig ruled that the man was “spreading a value judgement” by ‘liking’ the posts and that a ‘like’ was associated with a positive – meaning the man was in support of the post’s content.

The court ruled that the defendant could not prove the statements against Mr Kessler were true and found the man guilty of defamation. The man was given a suspended fine. Several other people have since also been convicted for defaming Mr Kessler.

Will you be more careful in the future with what posts you ‘like’ or ‘share’ on Facebook?


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Written by Drew

Starting out as a week of work experience in 2005 while studying his Bachelor of Business at Swinburne University, Drew has never left his post and has been with the company ever since, working on the websites digital needs. Drew has a passion for all things technology which is only rivalled for his love of all things sport (watching, not playing).


Total Comments: 12
  1. 0

    Tolerance is a tool of evil. Once evil takes over then all tolerance is gone. eg, Russia before communism, Germany before Nazism, and now the rest of the world before Sharia Law takes effect. We are told we have to show tolerance to evil.This is just another example of tolerance gone mad

  2. 0

    Just returned from Europe. Stayed 3 days in Geneva (Switzerland) and 3 months in France.
    The Swiss are really something else and it does not surprise me one bit that they would hand down a ruling like this. We were glad to escape Geneva and will never go back.
    I hope our own courts, well known for delivering justice of differing kinds depending on your postcode, do not get it into their heads that the Swiss ruling is anything other than off the planet.

  3. 0

    Has the world gone mad? I must be guilty a thousand times over. Lucky I don’t use Facebook.

  4. 0

    Political correctness gone MAD. So did they also charge the original poster or only the “liker”.

  5. 0

    I hope that this DOES take off. Perhaps then there would be less ‘playing the man’, fewer insults and less invective aimed at those with whom you happen to disagree. Making people responsible for what they post and having consequences for the poster would see fewer people hiding behind their keyboards whilst using their anonymity to create mayhem at another’s expense.

    • 0

      And it would flush out the trolls claiming to be anything other than what they are.
      The mayhem you mention would include the blatant and unjustifiable political lies some post as (claimed) facts. I’d love to see who these people are so that I can hold them to account. To cut off your obvious response KSS I HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE but doubt a few of the characters on this website could say the same.
      Bring it on!

    • 0

      Funny, you seemed to be against it in your post at 11.31 am, MICK.

    • 0

      I never said anything about making posters more transparent.

      My comment related to the (apparent) ruling in the Swiss Courts which can now (apparently) convict people for their beliefs and whether or not they agree with points of view, no matter how bizare these might be. That is a dangerous precedent to set and it goes against Free Speech. I doubt whether such a decision will not be challenged even in the Swiss Courts as it is ludicrous and also it will lead to a whole pile of convictions of all sort.

    • 0

      Sceptic well spotted, a bit of confusion going on today 🙂

    • 0

      “it goes against Free Speech”

      And you are VERY “free” with your ‘speech’ MICK.

  6. 0

    I think they should have targeted the person who put the article on FB. However I can understand the individual being upset.



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