Czech lower house supports first reading of bill to criminalize deletion of vulgar posts from social media
The Czech Chamber of Deputies has supported a bill to criminalize limiting freedom of speech on public social media. Administrators or operators of such platforms would face up to three years in prison, or a ban on activity, or a fine for deleting users' posts, according to a bill put forward by a group of MPs led by Václav Klaus, Jr (Tricolor).
After making it through its first reading, the bill is now being assessed by the Constitutional Law Committee in the lower house. Klaus, Jr says the amendment to the Criminal Code is endeavoring to prevent censorship.
"I want to defend freedom of speech and democracy and to not allow these assaults by the new left to grow out of all proportion," he said. As for the Pirate Party, none of its members pushed to suspend discussion of the bill until the approval of solution to this issue, and no Pirate MPs proposed that other committees also review the amendment.
Czech MP Tomáš Martínek (Pirates) did warn that if the amendment is adopted, it will not be possible to delete vulgarities from social media, for example. The new crime called "disruption of freedom of speech" would apply to social media platforms with more than 100 000 users.
According to the bill, it would become a crime to unjustifiably remove or otherwise render inaccessible social media posts about questions of public interest that do not violate Criminal Code regulations, international agreements or good morals. To qualify as a crime, the intervention would also have to be undertaken with the intention to burden or thwart free public discussion.
Less serious cases of "disruption of freedom of speech", including ones committed out of neglect, would just be misdemeanors, according to the amendment. Individuals running social media platforms would face up to CZK 500 000 [EUR 19 000] in fines, while entrepreneurs and firms would face fines of up to CZK 50 million [EUR 1.9 million].
According to the submitters of the bill, who come from seven of the 10 clubs in the lower house, the operators of social media platforms have been introducing internal rules regarding the admissibility of the content of posts that frequently exceed lawful limitations on freedom of speech. Deleting such posts or blocking users in such cases contravenes the Charter of Fundamental Rights, in the lawmakers' opinion.
The introduction of this new felony and misdemeanor offence is intended to prevent the operators of social media from "arbitrarily or preventatively" restricting information and opinions that do not exceed legal boundaries. The extraordinary session of the lower house that was convened on 29 April closed with the first reading of this bill and its passage into committee.
- Czech footballer appeals UEFA ban, insists he never said anything racist
- Czech court reopens case against accused neo-Nazis that has lasted more than a decade
- Czech court orders director of housing corporation to apologize to Romani community member for abusive remarks
- David Tišer tells Romani actor he has given Czech society a product full of stereotypes - and no explanation why
- Jarmila Balážová: What does the stormy debate in the Czech Republic about the TV series featuring Romani performers show us?
- Vojtěch Lavička: Czech TV show featuring Romani guys in drag is low "humor" of the fifth-rate category
- Czech court sentences man who praised deadly terrorist attack on New Zealand mosques to six years in prison, the longest such sentence yet
- Czech actress accused by fellow Instagrammers of racism for her comments about Black people on an American beach
- Czech footballer Ondřej Kúdela, centre-back for Slavia Prague, accused of racism in Glasgow
- Czech Prosecutor General appeals case to Supreme Court, says antisemitic death threats are a crime, not a misdemeanor
- Synodal Council of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren calls on ombudsman to apologize for anti-Romani remarks
- Czech ombudsman attacks ROMEA organization for criticizing racist joke by incoming Chief Public Health Officer
- Incoming Czech Chief Public Health Officer apologizes to Romani people for racist joke
- Brand-new Czech Chief Public Health Officer has a history of anti-Romani racism in her previous public communications about COVID-19
- Czech NGO director tells ombudsman he should resign for refusing to acknowledge discrimination against Roma
- Czech organizations insist the lower house and Prime Minister reject the anti-Romani remarks of the ombudsman
- Court in the Netherlands orders far-right politician to delete tweets comparing those avoiding the COVID-19 vaccine to Jews during the Holocaust
- Czech elections won by the Spolu (Together) coalition, who could form a majority with the Pirates-STAN coalition, communists out after 100 years in the national legislature
- Six Romani men and women are running in Czech elections to the lower house, one for ANO and Levice, two for the Greens, two for ultranationalist party
- Czech MPs abolish infant institutions and raise remuneration for foster parents, bill now heads to Senate
- Some volunteer civil society members of Czech Govt Roma Council protest new law on subjecting welfare benefits to collections
- Czech social media response to tornado includes antigypsyist rushes to judgment about Romani workers
- Czech MP alleges during parliamentary debate on welfare bill that incest is part of Romani culture, open racism on the floor of the lower house
- Czech lower house passes bill to compensate the illegally sterilized, most but not all of whom were Romani women
- Czech lower house committee chooses attorney now facing disciplinary action for making light of racist crime to join public broadcasting board
- Brooke Pavek, an American with Romani roots, has more than 700 000 social media followers
- Czech lower house adopts changes to law on collections, but not all proposals succeeded
- Czech lower house has approved moratorium on collections agents confiscating property in people's homes due to COVID-19