herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Banned taxi fare clip 'still online'

AN internet video clip falsely accusing a student of taxi fare evasion is still accessible outside the Republic of Ireland, the High Court has heard.

Expert internet users can also access it here and did so as recently as yesterday morning, the court heard.

Eoin McKeogh (22), a DCU student, has obtained temporary High Court orders preventing YouTube, Google, Facebook and a number of websites from republishing the video and accompanying material which wrongly identifies him as a man leaving a taxi without paying the fare. A fake Facebook page claiming to be Mr McKeogh had been put up but removed.

The YouTube video was taken down after the orders were granted, reappeared for a period before being taken down again, the court heard.

Mr McKeogh wants an injunction permanently removing all the material until the full hearing of his action over the matter.

Yesterday, his counsel, Pauline Walley, told the court the material is still available outside the 26 counties despite the previous court orders.

Ms Walley said she wanted the court to order the material should also not be accessible outside the Republic. The court, in recently refusing to ban newspapers from naming Mr McKeogh while the case was running, had found he was completely innocent of the fare evasion allegations, counsel said.

Ms Walley did not accept Facebook's contention that it is not possible to implement screening and blocking of new attempts to post the material. It was done in relation to copyright, child porn, incitement to hatred and religious material depending on which country one is in, she said.

Ms Walley said the person who had originally posted the defamatory material had been identified and had sent an email saying it was a mistake, that he was sorry, and had taken the video down.

But her client was alarmed to find that the material kept re-appearing "phoenix-like".

Ms Walley said Mr McKeogh was also seeking its costs against Facebook and liberty to apply to the court should there be any further breaches of its orders.

Rossa Fanning, for Facebook, said his side maintained there was no reason for this action against Facebook at all, particularly in circumstances where the person who allegedly committed the wrong was not before the court at all. "We have no liability whatsoever albeit that the plaintiff has had a terrible experience," he said.

The hearing continues.

hnews@herald.ie

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