Man Fined for 'Liking' Comment on Facebook

A Swiss court has fined a man for “liking” defamatory comments on Facebook. According to a statement from the court, the 45-year-old defendant, whose name was not given, hit the “like” button under several comments from third parties that were deemed inflammatory.

Several people have already been convicted in the case for comments they made. However, the man convicted on Monday was the first to be sanctioned merely for “liking” comments made by others.

The court said it did not matter that the comments had not originated from the defendant. By clicking the like button “the defendant clearly endorsed the unseemly content and made it his own,” the court statement said.

The Zurich judge ruled the defendant had failed to prove that the comments he had liked on Facebook were true. At the same time, by liking the comments the man had disseminated them to his list of Facebook contacts, and “thus made them accessible to a large number of people”, the statement said. His actions should thus be considered as an “affront to [the activist's] honour”, it added.

The court conditionally fined the defendant 4,000 Swiss francs.