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European Court of Human Rights : Magyar Jeti Zrt v. Hungary

Dirk Voorhoof (UGent)
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Abstract
In the case of Magyar Jeti Zrt v. Hungary the ECtHR made clear that holding media companies automatically liable for defamatory content hyperlinked in their reports violates the right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In its judgment the ECtHR emphasizes the very purpose of hyperlinks to allow Internet users to navigate to and from online material and to contribute to the smooth operation of the Internet by making information accessible through linking it to each other. Therefore the ECtHR cannot accept a strict or objective liability for media platforms embedding, in their editorial content, a hyperlink to defamatory or other illegal content. The ECtHR finds that such an objective liability ‘may have foreseeable negative consequences on the flow of information on the Internet, impelling article authors and publishers to refrain altogether from hyperlinking to material over whose changeable content they have no control. This may have, directly or indirectly, a chilling effect on freedom of expression on the Internet’. The ECtHR however did not exclude that, ‘in certain particular constellations of elements’, the posting of a hyperlink may potentially engage the question of liability, for instance where a journalist does not act in good faith in accordance with the ethics of journalism and with the diligence expected in responsible journalism.
Keywords
Freedom of expression, journalism, hyperlink, liability, defamation

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Voorhoof, Dirk. “European Court of Human Rights : Magyar Jeti Zrt v. Hungary.” IRIS (ENGLISH ED. ONLINE), no. 2, European Audiovisual Observatory, 2019, pp. 1–2.
APA
Voorhoof, D. (2019). European Court of Human Rights : Magyar Jeti Zrt v. Hungary. IRIS (ENGLISH ED. ONLINE), (2), 1–2.
Chicago author-date
Voorhoof, Dirk. 2019. “European Court of Human Rights : Magyar Jeti Zrt v. Hungary.” IRIS (ENGLISH ED. ONLINE), no. 2: 1–2.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Voorhoof, Dirk. 2019. “European Court of Human Rights : Magyar Jeti Zrt v. Hungary.” IRIS (ENGLISH ED. ONLINE) (2): 1–2.
Vancouver
1.
Voorhoof D. European Court of Human Rights : Magyar Jeti Zrt v. Hungary. IRIS (ENGLISH ED ONLINE). 2019;(2):1–2.
IEEE
[1]
D. Voorhoof, “European Court of Human Rights : Magyar Jeti Zrt v. Hungary,” IRIS (ENGLISH ED. ONLINE), no. 2, pp. 1–2, 2019.
@article{8604255,
  abstract     = {{In the case of Magyar Jeti Zrt v. Hungary the ECtHR made clear that holding media companies automatically liable for defamatory content hyperlinked in their reports violates the right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In its judgment the ECtHR emphasizes the very purpose of hyperlinks to allow Internet users to navigate to and from online material and to contribute to the smooth operation of the Internet by making information accessible through linking it to each other. Therefore the ECtHR cannot accept a strict or objective liability for media platforms embedding, in their editorial content, a hyperlink to defamatory or other illegal content. The ECtHR finds that such an objective liability ‘may have foreseeable negative consequences on the flow of information on the Internet, impelling article authors and publishers to refrain altogether from hyperlinking to material over whose changeable content they have no control. This may have, directly or indirectly, a chilling effect on freedom of expression on the Internet’. The ECtHR however did not exclude that, ‘in certain particular constellations of elements’, the posting of a hyperlink may potentially engage the question of liability, for instance where a journalist does not act in good faith in accordance with the ethics of journalism and with the diligence expected in responsible journalism.}},
  author       = {{Voorhoof, Dirk}},
  issn         = {{2078-6158}},
  journal      = {{IRIS (ENGLISH ED. ONLINE)}},
  keywords     = {{Freedom of expression,journalism,hyperlink,liability,defamation}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{2}},
  pages        = {{1--2}},
  publisher    = {{European Audiovisual Observatory}},
  title        = {{European Court of Human Rights : Magyar Jeti Zrt v. Hungary}},
  url          = {{http://merlin.obs.coe.int/newsletter.php?year=2019&issue=2&iris_ref=2019+2+1}},
  year         = {{2019}},
}