The E.U. Court of Justice ruled that Facebook and other platforms will need to remove information or block access to any illegal material, including in some instances content that is “equivalent.” Judges also can order it taken down worldwide, “within the framework of the relevant international law.”
The decision upheld an Austrian ruling in which a politician sued Facebook to remove defamatory content and the court ordered it removed globally. Facebook had previously removed the content in Austria only.
This judgment raises critical questions around freedom of expression and the role that internet companies should play in monitoring, interpreting and removing speech that might be illegal in any particular country.