Facebook can be forced to remove content internationally, top EU court rules

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

On Thursday, the European Union’s top court ruled that lower court judges could order Facebook to remove illegal comments from its platform, expanding on the power individual countries have to extend content bans across the world.

The European Court of Justice came to its decision after an Austrian politician, Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek, requested an order that would force Facebook to remove comments that were “harmful to her reputation.” Glawischnig-Piesczek argued that Facebook should remove the comments and limit access to them worldwide. The court ruled against Facebook, dealing a heavy hit on tech companies as lawmakers and platforms continue to discuss how to regulate online speech.

“EU law does not preclude a host provider like…

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