Delfi AS v. Estonia

Court Decisions

In 2006, Delfi, one of the largest Internet news portals in Estonia, published an article concerning a change in ferry routes delaying the opening of an ice road. Abusive and defamatory comments directed against the ferry-company owner were posted under the article. Delfi removed the comments six weeks later upon request of the ferry company. The owner of the ferry company instituted defamation proceedings against Delfi, which was ordered to pay EUR 320 in damages and held liable by the Estonian Supreme Court for racist and threatening user generated Content. Delfi appealed to the ECtHR complaining that holding it liable for the comments posted by the portal’s readers infringed its freedom of expression as provided in Article 10 ECHR. In October 2013, the First Chamber of the ECtHR ruled that there was no violation of Art.10.