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Man receives fine for Facebook ”like”

A 45-year-old man was found guilty by a Swiss court since he ”liked” on Facebook insults targeted at an animal rights activist, with the case being a judicial first, according to The Guardian.

The man accused Erwin Kessler of racism and he ”liked” defamatory comments targeted at him, according to a statement issued by the Zürich court.

The comments were made in 2015, in the context of a heated discussion on some Facebook groups defending animal rights and in which it was debated whether animals should be allowed to take part in street festivals.


Kessler sued over 10 people that took part in the exchanges, with some of them already being convicted for their comments. However, this is the first case in which somebody is convicted for a ”like”.

The court established that it does not matter that the Facebook comments were not made by the accused, but that he endorsed the comments through the ”like” button.

He asked for the man to pay a 4,000 Swiss franc fine, the equivalent of 3.190 pounds, but the decision is not a definitive one, with the defendant able to appeal the sentence.

The Zürich court also claimed that evidence supporting Kessler’s racism was not brought, and that the defendant’s actions brought him an affront.

The interesting thing is that Kessler was convicted almost 20 years ago for comparing an animal slaughtering ritual of the Jews with Nazi practices. The court established, though, that this would not prove he is a racist.

Daniel Higgson