EHRM 7 februari 2017 (Pihl tegen Zweden), Application no 74742/14

EHRM 7 februari 2017 (Pihl tegen Zweden), Application no 74742/14

As regards the measures taken by the association to prevent or remove defamatory comments, the Court notes that the blog had a function through which the association was notified when comments were posted on it. However, it was clearly stated on the blog that the association did not check such comments before they were published and that commentators were responsible for their own statements. Commentators were also requested to display good manners and obey the law. Moreover, the Court observes that the association removed the blog post and the comment one day after being notified by the applicant that the post was incorrect and that he wanted the post and the comment removed. The association furthermore posted a new blog post with an explanation for the error and an apology. The comment had been on the blog for about nine days in total (contrast Delfi AS, cited above, § 19, where the clearly unlawful comments were removed only about six weeks after their publication).

In view of the above, and especially the fact that the comment, although offensive, did not amount to hate speech or incitement to violence and was posted on a small blog run by a non-profit association which took it down the day after the applicant’s request and nine days after it had been posted, the Court finds that the domestic courts acted within their margin of appreciation and struck a fair balance between the applicant’s rights under Article 8 and the association’s opposing right to freedom of expression under Article 10.

Categorieën: Positie tussenpersonen, Uitingsdelicten, Vrijheid van meningsuiting

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