The NSW Supreme Court a few days ago here, made a stunner of a decision that a commercial owner of a Facebook page can be sued for comments made by other people on their FaceBook page. If you want to read a non-technical article with a decent discussion on the matter, click here. This is well worth a read.
Although most were stunned, I was not as I do know something about these matters as we were taken to court by a competitor and part of our defence was we felt some of the comments said about us were pretty bad and in fact, they were making up comments about us online. In our case, they settled out of court giving us a substantial five-figure settlement so it never got to a decision, but here it did which is the problem.
This matter will undoubtedly go to appeal. All that the judge ruled here is that there is a case abd that it can go to trial. It may require a change in the law because if it stays, it will have a dramatic impact on our rights of freedom of speech.
Okay, what can we all do about it *NOW*?
For now, those that run online a site including Facebook pages, need to make changes. Currently, we allow whoever wants too, to write what they want on our pages. Now it looks like the court expects us to vet all comments before they are published or at least to delete any comments in a reasonable time or we can be sued too. Currently, I check our Facebook page almost every day, and so far I have never deleted any comments there, but I reckon that now I may need to be prepared to do so. I suggest you do something similar too until this matter is resolved. Knowing our courts and parliament on an urgent matter like this, this matter will be with us for many years.