The ruling is about as bad as you can imagine. It is absolutely going to chill free expression across Europe. Things are a bit confusing because the EU Court of Justice has actually been much more concerned about issues of intermediary liability, and this ruling contradicts some of those rulings, but since the two courts are separate and not even part of the same system, it’s not clear what jurisdiction prevails. It is quite likely, however, that many will seize upon this European Court of Human Rights ruling to go after many websites that allow comments and free expression in an attempt to block it. It is going to force many sites to either shut down open comments, curtail forums or moderate them much more seriously.
For a Europe that is supposedly trying to build up a bigger internet industry, this ruling is a complete disaster, considering just how much internet innovation is based on enabling and allowing free expression.
I agree with this Comment over there:
This is just the rotten cherry on top of a huge pile of shit that has been building all over the world. We are fast approaching totalitarianism everywhere. Disguised yes but totalitarianism. You can’t have strong dissenting opinions from the established norm or you are a radical, a terrorist, an extremist. Just imagine a few key actors from the past in the environment of today. Or rather we don’t need to imagine since them too suffered from the same maladies. Still, the current environment is rapidly becoming much worse because at the same time there’s a generalized crackdown onto the open, spreading nature of the internet (that would have greatly helped such past characters) and at the same time technology and surveillance are advancing in an alarming pace. Technology per se is not an issue but the use of such technology to slash free expression and privacy that were conquered not long ago is simply terrifying.