A 45 year old man has been fined 4,000 Swiss franc for ‘liking’ comments in Switzerland.
The man liked comments accusing Erwin Kessler and the animal protection group he heads, of racism and anti-Semitism on Facebook.
Liking the post helped disseminate the comment
In its statement, the Zurich court said it did not matter that the comments had not originated from the defendant but by the act of liking, the defendant disseminated the comments to his list of friends which “thus made them accessible to a large number of people”
His actions should thus be considered as an “affront to Kessler’s honour,” it added.
This case seem to be the first record of a court interpreting a ‘like’ as an overt endorsement of a post. See also
The comments were made in 2015 in a series of Facebook group discussions. Kessler sued more than a dozen people who took part in those exchanges but so far, only the man has been fined for merely liking the post.
Facebook included “Love,” “Haha,” “Wow,” “Sad,” and “Angry” buttons in February 2016. Hopefully, there would be more additions such as disagree.
It is believed that this ruling would spark debates on Freedom of Expression especially on social media.
Would the courts now prosecute people for likes on social media?