Facebook on Wednesday was dealt a major blow in the EU's top court, which ruled that national courts in Europe can order online platforms to remove defamatory content worldwide. The decision will be seen as a victory for EU regulators, who are ambitious to see US tech giants meet tightened European standards over hate speech and offensive content.
Last week, the same court decided that Google was not legally compelled to apply the EU's strict "right to be forgotten" rules globally, in a victory for the search giant. In a closely watched judgment, the European Court of Justice said EU law "does not preclude" courts from ordering "the removal of information or to block access worldwide," a statement said.
The latest case was brought originally to an Austrian court by Greens party politician Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek, who requested the removal of Facebook posts that the judges found defamed her and could be seen by users of the social network around the world.