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Student wins right to have false fare dodge YouTube clip removed

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CAPTION: WRONGLY ACCUSED: Student Eoin McKeogh

CAPTION: WRONGLY ACCUSED: Student Eoin McKeogh

CAPTION: WRONGLY ACCUSED: Student Eoin McKeogh

ARRANGEMENTS must be made within the next month to permanently remove an internet video clip falsely accusing a student of taxi fare evasion, a High Court judge has ruled.

Mr Justice Micheal Peart made the order in a case brought by Eoin McKeogh (23), a DCU student, against YouTube, Google, Facebook and a number of websites over the video and accompanying material which wrongly identified Mr McKeogh as a man leaving a taxi without paying the fare in Monkstown, Dublin.

Mr McKeogh sought a mandatory injunction requiring the internet companies to permanently remove the video and other material, having previously got a temporary order preventing its republishing.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Peart ordered that experts for Mr McKeogh meet with experts for the internet companies on how to go about taking down the material permanently on a worldwide basis.

 

DEFAMED

The experts should be nominated within 14 days and the meeting between them should take place within the following fortnight. When reports have been prepared and exchanged, the matter can come back before the court to "consider the position which emerges", the judge said.

Mr Justice Peart previously found Mr McKeogh was grossly defamed in the video because he was incontrovertibly not the person in it.

He gave this ruling when refusing a separate bid by Mr McKeogh to stop newspapers identifying him.

In dealing with his application for a permanent injunction against the internet companies yesterday, pending full hearing of his action for damages over the matter, the judge said after the taxi driver involved had posted the video asking if anyone could identify the person in his cab, one person wrongly named Mr McKeogh who was in Japan at the time.

There followed, the judge said, "a miscellany of the most vile, crude, obscene and generally obnoxious comments" about Mr McKeogh on YouTube and Facebook.

hnews@herald.ie


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