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Delfi (web portal)

Delfi (occasionally capitalized as DELFI) is a major internet portal in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania providing daily news, ranging from gardening to politics.[1] It ranks as one of the most popular websites among Baltic users.

Delfi RGB.png
Type of site
web portal
Available inEnglish, Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, Polish, Russian
Website* The Delfi web portal for Estonia (in Russian)
* The Delfi web portal for Latvia (in Russian)
* The Delfi web portal for Lithuania (in Russian)
* The Delfi web portal in Polish
* The Delfi web portal in English
Alexa rankNegative increase 3,776[1] (; April 2019)
Increase 3,967[2] (; April 2019)
Negative increase 6,623[3] (; April 2019)
(paid subscription required for access to most articles in English version)
Current statusActive

Delfi operates in the respective Baltic countries under the domain names,, and Aside from versions in the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian languages, the company offers Russian language versions of its portal in all three countries. On 12 March 2012, Delfi started a Polish version under A year later an English version was added under

In March 2014 version was closed.[2]

In February 2016, most of the English language version content were placed under a paywall to restrict access to most articles without a paid subscription, as the articles in this version of Delfi are supported by the Lithuania Tribune, which raised questions on implementing the paywall there.[3] It is unknown if other language editions will be implementing the paywall.

Company developmentEdit

Delfi was established in 1999 by the Estonian company MicroLink and sold in 2003 to the Norwegian company Findexa.[4] In 2007 Estonian media group Ekspress Grupp acquired 100% of Delfi stocks for €54m.[5] It operates under a single name in the three Baltic states of Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia, and also in Ukraine. It has its own bureau in Moscow, Kaliningrad, Warsaw, and Stockholm. It also sources its news reports from the Baltic News Service and from wire services.[1]

Freedom of speechEdit

Because visitors of Delfi can anonymously comment on every news story, this site generates debates over freedom of speech in the Baltic States. Some members of the Estonian and Lithuanian Parliaments have proposed laws making Delfi and other news portals responsible for the contents of anonymous comments.[6][7] In September 2006, attorneys of Artūras Zuokas, the mayor for Vilnius, asked public prosecutors to seize Delfi servers and reveal the IP addresses of all anonymous commentators that have written comments about him in several Delfi publications.[8][9] In March 2015 Estonian Delfi started a defamation campaign against Conservative People's Party of Estonia and closed comment sections because of ideological disagreement and, arguably, because of harsh criticism they received. [10][11][dubious ]

In June 2015, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in Delfi AS v. Estonia that holding responsible for its readers' comments did not violate the European Convention on Human Rights' protection of freedom of speech.[12][13]


  1. ^ a b Laima Nevinskaite (13 November 2003). "Media of the Baltic States in the European Communication Networks" (PDF). The European Public Sphere Conference, Europäische Akademie, Berlin Grunewald, 28–30 November 2003. Europäische Akademie Berlin.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Эстонский медиа-концерн прекращает свою деятельность в Украине". (in Russian). RIA Novosti Ukraina. 21 February 2014. Archived from the original on 29 August 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  3. ^ "The Lithuania Tribune's paywall: your questions answered". Delfi. 16 March 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2016.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Findexa acquires the Baltic news portal Delfi". European Association of Directory and Database Publishers. 16 December 2003. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007.
  5. ^ "Ekspress Group buys Delfi portals for 54 million euros". The Baltic Times. 8 April 2007.
  6. ^ "Parliament fails to adopt controversial bill on censoring webcommentators" (PDF). Baltic Business News Newsletter. 18 May 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 September 2007.
  7. ^ "Seimo narių siūlomose pataisose - ir didesni suvaržymai žiniasklaidai" (in Lithuanian). Delfi News. 20 June 2006.
  8. ^ Vanagas, Justinas (4 September 2006). "A.Zuokas - prieš komentarus apie jį rašančius internautus" (in Lithuanian). Delfi. Archived from the original on 9 July 2011.
  9. ^ "Lithuania_Tribune and DELFI commence operation of joint venture". Archived from the original on 15 February 2013.
  10. ^ "Kommentaarid - Urmo Soonvald: Miks me sulgesime EKRE-lugude kommentaariumi? - Eesti Päevaleht". Archived from the original on 6 February 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Vabariigi kodanikud". ETV. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  12. ^ Newman, Liz Hay (17 June 2015). "EU Court Unexpectedly Rules Estonian Website Is Responsible for User Comments". Slate.
  13. ^ Moody, Glyn (16 June 2015). "Shock European court decision: Websites are liable for users' comments". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 22 June 2015.


External linksEdit