Facebook must delete postings that qualify as hate speech following an Austrian court ruling, Reuters reported.

The case came after Austrian Green Party leader Eva Glawischnig was insulted on Facebook by a user who wasn’t using an actual name. The Austrian paper Die Presse reported Glawischnig was described as being a "lousy traitor" and "corrupt bumpkin."

Although the scope of the ruling has yet to be determined, Austrian officials have taken a hardline approach to the social media network. Facebook contended it was only subject to the laws of California and Ireland, where its European operations are based. But according to the court, Facebook must delete the posts worldwide and cannot simply have them be blocked solely within Austria.

As the court argued, Facebook could easily automate its tools to detect posts that shared the exact message. However, it admitted it would be unreasonable for Facebook also to flag posts that were similar, rather than identical, to the posts in question.

The ruling comes amid increased pressure from European leaders on providers like Facebook to remove and prevent posts designed to spread hate speech. Reuters noted Germany approved a plan in April that would fine social media networks as much as $55 million if they fail to remove posts that spread fake news in a timely fashion, and the European Union is considering similar regulations for its members.

For officials, the focus of these efforts is not on individual posts, but rather on campaigns that utilize fake accounts to spread misinformation. The Washington Post reported the fake account at the center of the initial Facebook ruling was also tied to the spread of other fake rumors during the Austrian presidential election.

"The insults directed at Glawischnig appeared to have been spread via the same fake profile that was used to circulate false rumors during the run-up to Austria's presidential vote this month, including that Alexander van der Bellen — who eventually won the election — was suffering from cancer and dementia. In what seemed like an echo of the U.S. presidential race, Van der Bellen, who is close to the Green Party, was forced to publish his health records to dispel the rumors."

While Facebook has declined to comment on the Austrian court’s ruling, the company has previously expressed concern about these policies among European officials. In response to Germany’s legislation that would fine social media networks that didn’t remove hateful posts quickly enough, Facebook previously told Bloomberg the policy “would force private companies instead of courts to decide which content is illegal in Germany.”

Previously, the social media network had been reticent toward fake news, but it has taken a more proactive approach to the issue in recent months. In a post in February, CEO Mark Zuckerberg highlighted the company’s push to clamp down on intentional misinformation:

"Accuracy of information is very important. We know there is misinformation and even outright hoax content on Facebook, and we take this very seriously. We've made progress fighting hoaxes the way we fight spam, but we have more work to do. We are proceeding carefully because there is not always a clear line between hoaxes, satire and opinion.

"In a free society, it's important that people have the power to share their opinion, even if others think they're wrong. Our approach will focus less on banning misinformation, and more on surfacing additional perspectives and information, including that fact checkers dispute an item's accuracy."