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The president of an association as “producer” of his website, is only responsible for the comments of Internet users if he was aware of their content before they were put online, or if he did not act. promptly to withdraw them as soon as he becomes aware of them. This is what the Court of Cassation recalls in its judgment of October 30, 2012.

In this case, the president of a local association had published on the association’s blog a message from an Internet user who might suggest that the mayor of a municipality had personal interests in carrying out a real estate transaction on the territory thereof. The author of the defamatory message had not been identified. The Court of Appeal had then held the responsibility of the president of the association on the grounds that he should be considered the main author of the message since he assumes, in the eyes of Internet users and third parties, the quality of producer of the association’s blog.

The judgment was quashed by the Court of Cassation, which recalled that the responsibility of a website producer is only engaged if he was aware of the content of Internet users’ messages before their publication, or if he refrained from acting promptly to withdraw them as soon as he became aware of them.

The Paris Court of Appeal overturns a dismissal order concerning the administrator of a Facebook page prosecuted for comments posted on his page without him being the alleged perpetrator.

Indeed, in a judgment of November 13, 2020 (1), the Court justifies this decision on the grounds that in this case these remarks were published ”  from the administration interface of the page  “, an interface to which several people had access and not ”  in a space of personal contributions  “.

This situation was to lead, de facto and in the absence of identification of the author, to the investigation of the criminal liability of the producer by the examining magistrate.

1) Paris Court of Appeal, 4th ch. of the instruction, judgment of November 13, 2020:

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