It is the first case of this kind in the country, swiss and, although the verdict can be appealed, experts believe that it may have a major impact.
The court of the city of Zurich sentenced a user of Facebook, whose name was revealed, by give «like» several comments accusing an activist of the animal rights activists of being «racist», «fascist» and «anti-semitic».
The comments in question were made enentre 2015 and 2016 during some discussions on that network socialm about what groups of animal welfare should be invited to participate in a vegan festival, as reported by the swiss daily Tages Anzeiger.
Erwin Kessler, an activist and president of an Association for the protection of animals, had been reported that year to a dozen people who participated in these exchanges by threatening his honor.
In its judgment in favor of Kessler, the Justice foundation, to give “I like”, the defendant appropriates a defamatory content and make it his own». in addition, noted the court, to give it that like the user is making available those comments to a large number of people.
According to the lawyer specializing in media law and information technology Nicolas Capt, he stated that, «By analogy, the «I like» is equated with the adoption and the spread of a purpose».
The verdict is part of a «trend towards the empowerment of the user», said Capt. But Amr Abdelaziz, a lawyer for one of the defendants in the case, said that the courts should clarify whether an «I like» should have the same weight as other forms of expression cited commonly in cases of defamation. «
If the courts want to prosecute people for giving «like» on Facebook, we may need to triple the number of judges in this country,» he said and added that «it could easily become an assault on the freedom of expression».