The Supreme Court has ratified a fine imposed on Menéame for which the website had to compensate a councilor of the Marbella People’s Party. The origin of everything dates back to 2015, when comments such as “son of a bitch” were poured on the councilor in the comments on a news item from the aggregator.
Menéame was sentenced to compensate him with 1,200 euros, despite the fact that the website had no responsibility for the comments made against said person. The problem was that in the Provincial Court that issued that judgment, Menéame was considered to provide services and not aggregator of connections, which would force the comments to be deleted. They decided to appeal the sanction before the Supreme, but the answer has been negative for your interests.
Since Menéame have announced that they will appeal the sentence and go to the Constitutional, considering that the expression of the controversy “that was already used in Cervantes’ time is somewhat colloquial and not pejorative, and, at most, an expression of bad taste”.
“It is physically impossible for us to verify each and every one of the comments”
In addition to this argument, in the statement, Menéame defend that “given the volume of comments that are generated daily in Menéame by more than two million users per month, it is physically impossible for us to verify each and every one of them.”
They also express that the team reviews everything that comes to “abuse @ meneame” denouncing violations of privacy and honor. The ratification of the Supreme Court is especially worrying if it is taken as a precedent for other websites that also allow comments, such as forums or even media such as Webedia.
Another problem in the case is that the requests made to Menéame to withdraw the comments did not include their URL, according to Carlos Sánchez Almeida, a lawyer for Menéame in the case, on Twitter. “Requiring a medium with millions of comments to locate one of them without offering the URL is an exorbitant obligation, which violates the provisions of the Directive on the absence of a general obligation of supervision, “he added.
The court’s decision has come at a time when the debate on freedom of expression and the responsibility of platforms like these websites and social media is more on the table than ever. And it is not a Spanish issue, but a global one. The last big step was taken by Donald Trump, when he signed an executive order in which, under a series of conditions, he transferred to social networks the responsibility for what was published in them by his users.
The Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court requires the social network Menéame to indemnify a councilor of the PP in Marbella for comments made against him in a news story posted on the platform.
“This affects the internet medium.”
Worse than Trump, ladies and gentlemen. https://t.co/unBlESAorM
– Almeida (@bufetalmeida) June 12, 2020
Sánchez Almeida has also expressed on Twitter that the Supreme Court decision is “worse than Trump, ladies and gentlemen“, referring to the controversial executive order in the United States.
The Supreme Court imposes a fine of 1,200 euros on Menéame for insults among his comments to a PP councilor