Online media are responsible for reader comments that violate personal rights

A landmark court settlement regulates the responsibility of online media when it comes to comments that violate personal rights.

Online reader comments far below the belt: who is responsible? The business blog Inside Paradeplatz ended up in court against Ringier AG, Michael Ringier and Marc Walder, who as publisher and CEO also publish Blick, among other things, for reader comments that violate personal rights.

Point of dispute: around 50 released comments

The lawsuit was directed against around 50 comments that had been activated by Inside Paradeplatz. The parties negotiated a settlement at the hearing before the Zurich Commercial Court, as can be read today on Inside Paradeplatz.

Apology from Inside Paradeplatz

The blog accepts responsibility for the comments, apologizes for the “majority of personality-infringing” comments and says they have already been deleted. It commits itself to ensure that no more such comments are published on its website.

This can be seen as an important principle: Online media are just as responsible for reader comments on their websites as publishers are for printed publications.

Ringier AG, Corporate Communications