CNN cited a court ruling that holds editors accountable for public comments on stories even if the stories are not defamatory.
CNN said it has stopped posting articles on the Australian pages of Facebook Inc, citing a court ruling that the editors are responsible for defamation in public comments and the social media company’s refusal to help it turn off the posts. comments in the country.
The move makes CNN, which is owned by AT&T Inc, the first major news organization to withdraw its Australian presence on Facebook since the country’s high court ruled this month that editors were legally responsible for comments posted under the stories. – although the stories themselves weren’t libelous. .
CNN doesn’t feature prominently in Australian media consumption, but the move could have repercussions in the industry if other media follow suit.
Facebook declined a request to help CNN and other publishers turn off public comments in the country following the decision, CNN said.
“We are disappointed that Facebook, once again, has failed to ensure that its platform is a place of credible journalism and productive dialogue around the news among its users,” said a spokesperson. from CNN in a statement.
She added that CNN would continue to post content on its own platforms in Australia.
A Facebook spokesperson said recent court rulings had shown the need for reform of Australia’s libel law and the company looked forward to “greater clarity and certainty in this area.”
“While it is not our responsibility to provide legal advice to CNN, we have provided them with the latest information on the tools we make available to help editors manage comments,” the spokesperson said.
Facebook says it has several features available to editors and other users to restrict who can comment on posts. She and CNN did not give details of the discussions that led to CNN’s decision.
Social media is a central channel for content distribution in Australia, with around two-thirds of the country’s 25 million people on Facebook, according to industry figures. About a third of the nation’s population used Facebook for information in 2021, according to a report from the University of Canberra.