The ruling follows the introduction of a series of recent legislative measures by the Russian government to control Internet content, the Russian Legal Information Agency reported Tuesday.
"The owners of any site, including those not registered as media outlets, will now have to delete defamatory information posted on their sites by other users in accordance with a court decision," the Constitutional Court's press service said. "However, the site owners will not be financially liable for other users' comments.
The ruling comes in a case filed by a Russian man named Yevgeny Krylov who said he was defamed on an Internet forum in October 2009 after an unidentified person posted his photograph with captions and opinions ti which anonymous users added insulting comments.
A lower court in the district where Krylov lives ruled that the information posted on the forum was false and defamatory.