Facebook and similar apps and websites can be ordered to take down illegal posts worldwide after a landmark ruling from the EU's highest court. Platforms may also have to seek out similar examples of the illegal content and remove them, instead of waiting for each to be reported. One expert said it was a significant ruling with global implications. Facebook said the judgement raised "critical questions around freedom of expression".
The case stemmed from an insulting comment posted on Facebook about Austrian politician Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek, which the country's courts said damaged her reputation. Under EU law, Facebook and other platforms are not held responsible for illegal content posted by users, until they have been made aware of it - at which point, they must remove it quickly. But it was unclear whether an EU directive, saying platforms cannot be made to monitor all posts or actively seek out illegal activity, could be overridden by a court order. Austria's Supreme Court asked Europe's highest court to clarify this.