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EGMR: Kommerzielle Webseitenbetreiber haften für beleidigende Nutzerkommentare oder Forenbeiträge auf Schadensersatz bzw. Schmerzensgeld - Pflicht zur Überwachung

Urteil vom 16.06.2015

Der Europäischer Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte hat entschieden, dass kommerzielle Webseitenbetreiber für beleidigende Nutzerkommentare oder Forenbeiträge auf Schadensersatz bzw. Schmerzensgeld haften, wenn diese nach Veröffentlichung nicht umgehend gelöscht werden. Insofern sind die Webseitenbetreiber nach Ansicht des EGMR verpflichtet die Inhalte der Nutzer wirksam zu überwachen und beleidigende Inhalte zu verhindern. Maßnahmen wie Schimpfwortfilter reichen - so das Gericht - nicht aus.

Aus den Entscheidungsgründen:

"The Court notes that the applicant company took certain measures in this regard. There was a disclaimer on the Delfi news portal stating that the writers of the comments – and not the applicant company – were accountable for them, and that the posting of comments that were contrary to good practice or contained threats, insults, obscene expressions or vulgarities, or incited hostility, violence or illegal activities, was prohibited. Furthermore, the portal had an automatic system of deletion of comments based on stems of certain vulgar words and it had a notice-and-take-down system in place, whereby anyone could notify it of an inappropriate comment by simply clicking on a button designated for that purpose, to bring it to the attention of the portal administrators. In addition, on some occasions the administrators removed inappropriate comments on their own initiative.

Thus, the Court notes that the applicant company cannot be said to ave wholly neglected its duty to avoid causing harm to third parties. Nevertheless, and more importantly, the automatic word-based filter used by the applicant company failed to filter out odious hate speech and speech inciting violence posted by readers and thus limited its ability to expeditiously remove the offending comments. The Court reiterates that the majority of the words and expressions in question did not include
sophisticated metaphors or contain hidden meanings or subtle threats. They were manifest expressions of hatred and blatant threats to the physical integrity of L. Thus, even if the automatic word-based filter may have been useful in some instances, the facts of the present case demonstrate that it was insufficient for detecting comments whose content did not constitute protected speech under Article 10 of the Convention (see paragraph 136 above). The Court notes that as a consequence of this failure of the filtering mechanism, such clearly unlawful comments remained online for six weeks (see paragraph 18 above).


2. Based on the concrete assessment of the above aspects, taking into account the reasoning of the Supreme Court in the present case, in particular the extreme nature of the comments in question, the fact that the comments were posted in reaction to an article published by the applicant company on its professionally managed news portal run on a commercial basis, the insufficiency of the measures taken by the applicant company to remove without delay after publication comments amounting to hate speech and speech inciting violence and to ensure a realistic prospect of the authors of such comments being held liable, and the moderate sanction imposed on the applicant company, the Court finds that the domestic courts’ imposition of liability on the applicant company was based on relevant and sufficient grounds, having regard to the margin of appreciation afforded to the respondent State. Therefore, the measure did not constitute a disproportionate restriction on the applicant company’s right to freedom of expression. Accordingly, there has been no violation of Article 10 of the Convention."

Den Volltext der Entscheidung finden Sie hier:


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