Be careful when liking posts on Social Media

According to a federal court decision, you can make yourself liable to prosecution if you mark comments and posts on social channels with Like.

The answer in detail

Due to a recent federal court ruling, it's important to give yourself a few moments of thought before you like or mark a post with Like on Facebook, Twitter and other social channels.

Anyone who shares a defamatory post on Facebook or marks it with a Like can also be guilty of defamation can be read on NZZ.ch. What exactly does this mean for you when dealing with Likes on Facebook & Co. Will you make yourself liable to prosecution if you give a Like to the comments of your circle of friends on social media channels in the future?

Not in every case. Caution is advised with contributions which are offensive. If you like such a contribution, i.e. mark it with Like and if you spread the comment even further, you can make yourself liable to prosecution according to the new Federal Court decision.

We recommend you:

Like or share contributions from third parties in the social media only after you have made sure that these contributions do not contain any defamatory statements.

The following are considered offences of honour
- Defamation (Art. 173 SCC 1. Anyone accusing or suspecting someone of dishonourable conduct or other facts likely to damage his reputation, whoever spreads such an accusation or suspicion, shall, on application, be punished by a fine).
- Defamation (Art. 174 SCC 1. anyone accusing or suspecting someone of dishonourable conduct or other facts likely to damage his reputation against his better judgment, anyone who spreads such an accusation or suspicion against his better judgment shall, on request, be punished with imprisonment for up to three years or a fine) and
- Insults (Art. 177 of the Criminal Code Anyone who attacks someone in any other way by word, writing, picture, gesture or assault on his honour will be punished, on application, with a fine of up to 90 daily rates).