Are you the administrator/manager of a social media page or group?

On 8 September 2021 the High Court of Australia confirmed that Australian publishers of Facebook pages are responsible not only for the content they post but ALSO for any defamatory content other people post as comments on their page. This means that if people commenting on your posts say things that are defamatory (damage someone’s reputation), you may be held responsible as the publisher of those comments. It is very likely that you would also be held responsible for other sorts of offensive comments too – including, in Queensland at least, anything which is likely to incite violence, hatred or ridicule towards people of a particular race, religion, sexuality or gender identity.

Facebook provides a range of tools to assist administrators manage comments; some of those tools have been developed specifically in response to this case (it is that important). The case applies to other social media too, not just Facebook.

Read the oral submission our Director of Human Rights and Civil Law Practice made on 9 September 2021 to the Queensland Parliamentary Committee Inquiry into Serious Vilification and Hate Crimes in Queensland in which she discusses some implications of this decision for Queensland Government Facebook pages.

Materials relevant to the High Court decision are available here.