Czech deputies aim to fight censorship on social networks

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Klaus jr. announced the preparation of the bill last summer. “Freedom of speech is one of the most important principles of our civilization. People have the right to share their opinions, clever or stupid, inspiring or provocative. The border is very thin,” said Klaus jr. He added that free Internet is an important part of the freedom of speech when it clashes with the monopoly of so-called traditional media.

Recently, according to Klaus, there has been pressure to get the internet under control. “A lot of people are blocked for absolutely innocent opinions or simply opinions which are based on their way of thinking,” he said. The deputy declined the arguments that social networks operate by private companies that can set the conditions they want.

A newly designed crime should be called “violation of freedom of speech” and it would cover social networks with more than 100 000 users (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). A crime would, according to the proposal, be an unjustified removal or otherwise disallowing a contribution on issues of public interest that would not be contrary to criminal law, international treaties or good morals.

Such behavior is subject to fines ranging from 500,000 to 50,000,000 CZK. Social network operators could not arbitrarily ban opinions according to their own rules and standards. Operators may face up to three years imprisonment or a ban of their activity.

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