CNN cites Facebook scandal in Australia citing risk of defamation

The Facebook logo will be displayed on their website on February 1, 2017 in Bordeaux, France. REUTERS / Regis Duvignau / File Photo

Sydney, Sept. 29 (Reuters) – CNN has stopped posting articles on Australia’s Facebook Inc. (FB.O) pages, saying publishers are responsible for defaming public comments and refusing to block social media company comments. In the country.

The move, after the country’s Supreme Court was published this month, will draw CNN’s Australian Facebook page, which is legally responsible for comments, to the Australian Facebook page – although the stories themselves are not defamatory.

CNN is not prominent in Australian media consumption, but the decision could have repercussions across the industry if other broadcasters follow suit.

Following the decision, CNN said it had rejected a request from CNN and other publishers to block public comment in the country.

A spokesman for CNN said in a statement: “We are saddened that Facebook has not been able to ensure that the forum is a reliable place for journalistic and productive discussions among current users.”

He added that CNN would continue to publish content on its own platforms in Australia.

A Facebook spokesman said recent court decisions highlighted the need to amend Australia’s defamation law and said the company was looking forward to “greater transparency and certainty in this area”.

The spokesman said: “Although we do not provide legal guidance to CNN, we have provided up-to-date information on the tools we provide to help publishers manage their opinions.”

Facebook says it has many features for publishers and other users to limit what they can comment on. He and CNN did not provide details of the discussions that led to the decision.

Social media is a central channel for content distribution in Australia, with about two-thirds of the country’s 25 million people on Facebook as industry figures. By 2021, about a third of the nation’s population will use Facebook to spread the word, according to a Canberra University report.

Report by Bayron Kaye; Edited by Edwin and Gibbs

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