Defamation, social networks are not free from liability

In a recent judgment, the Civil Court of Milan condemned for the first time in Italy the social network Meta to pay damages to Snaitech, for not having promptly removed “defamatory” posts, published in the pages a user created and containing expressions harmful to the honor and reputation of the company.

Interviewed on the subject by ItaliaOggi, Andrea Puccio, Founding Partner of Puccio Penalisti Associati, believes that «the recent judgment of the Court of Milan, although issued in the context of a civil lawsuit for damages – and having, therefore, dwelt only for this purpose on the criminal profiles of the conduct of the social network -, is, however, open to pave the way to include within the perimeter of the «criminally relevant» the inaction of the social platform. Such an ascent of liability in the head of the hosting provider should be subject – as clarified by the Court itself – to the ascertainment of awareness, in the head of the platform, regarding the defamation carried out by its users. There is no doubt that the assessment of the psychological coefficient presents, in practice, profiles of potential criticality. The social network’s awareness about the commission of criminal offenses by its users passes, in the majority of cases, from standard reporting forms: is this sufficient to consider that the social network was aware of the defamatory conduct and culpably failed to prevent it? One thing is certain: this judgment could be fertile ground for the development of new thinking on the subject of omissive liability.»

The full interview is available at this link