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Liking, sharing hateful and defamatory Facebook posts can soon be a crime

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Liking and sharing hateful, defamatory, anti-semitic, and far-right posts could be a crime in Switzerland.

A Facebook user in Switzerland hit the like button on posts about Erwin Kessler — an animal rights activist — being accused as an anti-Semite and a neo-Nazi.

After that, a court in Zurich determined that liking the post helped spread the defamatory content and ruled the Facebook user to pay a fine back in 2017. As per the court, the post is considered a right-wing and anti-semitic content.

The Federal Court in Switzerland supported the ruling, saying that liking and sharing a hate or defamation post contribute to its dissemination. Thus, improving its visibility on the social media platform, reaching more people — even more than the actual author’s friends or active circle.

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However, the Switzerland court did emphasize that every case should be examined closely to see the real impact of liking and sharing hateful content on Facebook.

This can be tricky since likes and shares are two of the biggest features of Facebook. Adding to that is the almost four million Facebook users in Switzerland.

Moreover, people’s intent on liking and sharing a post can mean different things. Users either support it or condemn the post completely.

While they did uphold the court’s ruling, the Swiss Federal Court is asking them to look back on the case as they didn’t give the accused user to defend and argue his doings.

Source: Bloomberg

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