Social Networks. Defamation. Facebook.
Social media networks, such as Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others have found a safe harbor in the United States, when it comes to allowing users to do and say anything they want. Thanks to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, these sites are almost never held liable for the content their user’s post online. Essentially, the responsibility for libelous posts, infringing content, or simply outrageous and offensive rants generally fall on the poster of the material, not the platform that permits the dissemination of the content. It appears that defamation is supported and encouraged.
However, that is not the case in other countries, where social networking sites are held to a higher standard. For example, as we speak, Germany is deliberating whether to hold Facebook accountable for its posters actions. German prosecutors are seeking to compel Facebook into holding its users accountable by removing racist and threatening posts. Is that fair? Some say Facebook and other social networking sites should not be held accountable ford the action of their users. Others say, why should they not?
Are we too lenient with people who take what does not belong to them? Do we give too much freedom to people who spew racist and defamatory content? Does our first amendment need to be changed?
What are your thoughts?
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