Thursday, 09 September 2021 08:23

High Court rules page owners responsible for Facebook comments Featured

High Court rules page owners responsible for Facebook comments Image by Simon from Pixabay

The Australian High Court has ruled that owners of Facebook pages are responsible for any comments posted by third parties in response to content that has been placed by the owner.

The ruling was made in a case involving former Northern Territory youth detainee Dylan Voller, with the comments in question having been posted below news reports from numerous outlets on their Facebook pages.

Voller was featured in an ABC program where he was shown shackled to a chair.

The case had been filed by Fairfax Media — which no longer exists, with most of its publications having been acquired by Nine Entertainment — Rupert Murdoch's Nationwide News and Australian News Channel.

Last year, the NSW Court of Appeal had ruled that news outlets were liable for comments on their Facebook pages. The media outlets took their case to the High Court which issued its judgment on Wednesday.

High Court Chief Justice Susan Kiefel and Justices Patrick Keane and Jacqueline Gleeson dismissed the appeal by the publishers, saying: "The Court of Appeal was correct to hold that the acts of the appellants in facilitating, encouraging and thereby assisting the posting of comments by the third-party Facebook users rendered them publishers of those comments. The appeals should be dismissed with costs."

The case will now return to the NSW Supreme Court so that a trial can be held about the remaining issues.

Changes to defamation law which came into effect in a number of states, including Victoria and NSW, on 1 July this year prescribe a harm threshold which must be met before a defamation suit can be launched.

Additionally, someone who is thinking of filing such a case must send a "concerns notice" to the publisher before filing the case, giving the latter a chance to head off the action.

Please join our community here and become a VIP.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here
JOIN our iTWireTV our YouTube Community here


It's all about Webinars.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 3 to 4 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site and prominent Newsletter promotion and Promotional News & Editorial. Plus a video interview of the key speaker on iTWire TV which will be used in Promotional Posts on the iTWire Home Page.

Now we are coming out of Lockdown iTWire will be focussed to assisting with your webinatrs and campaigns and assassistance via part payments and extended terms, a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs. We can also create your adverts and written content plus coordinate your video interview.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you. Please click the button below.



iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.


Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous