El Pais: Free Speech in the Twitter Era Is No Laughing Matter in Spain

Spain is debating whether some topics are off limits, even terror groups from long ago, now defunct, on social media – and “how to tackle hatred, humiliation and disrespect without being disproportionate and arbitrary,” reports Vera Gutiérrez Calvo for El Pais. “Sources from the central High Court and prosecutor offices state that jokes in themselves are not being prosecuted as crimes, but that sometimes jokes are used to disguise what really amounts to praise for terrorism.” Courts are cracking down on social media messages that incite hatred or suggest that terrorism is a way to resolve social conflict, but legal experts point out that determining the context or intentions behind comments is not easy. One professor quoted in the article suggests that society has “returned to the era of the public square,” which entails responsibility, and another professor observes that Twitter and Facebook are not toys but methods of communication that require rules. Other experts argue that extreme comments online should not be considered as a criminal matter but rather as opportunities for responses that educate. – YaleGlobal

El Pais: Free Speech in the Twitter Era Is No Laughing Matter in Spain

Experts in Spain wrestle over conduct on social media, disagreeing on where to draw the line to fight incitement to hatred without hurting civil liberties
Vera Gutiérrez Calvo
Wednesday, May 3, 2017

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