A proposal to punish restrictions on content published on public social networks has passed its first reading in the Chamber of Deputies. According to the amendment, operators or administrators of social media platforms could face up to three years in prison, a ban on activities, or a fine for deleting users’ posts. Photo Credit: Freepik / Illustrative Photo.
Czech Rep., May 3 (BD) – A proposal to ban restrictions of freedom of expression on social networks with more than 100,000 users has passed its first reading in the Chamber of Deputies. According to the amendment proposed by a group of deputies led by Václav Klaus Jr., operators or administrators of these platforms would face up to three years in prison, a ban on activities, or a fine for deleting users’ posts.
The amendment stated that less serious cases of violation of freedom of expression, including negligence, would be considered a minor offence. Individuals operating social networks would face a fine of up to CZK 500,000, and companies could face a penalty of up to CZK 50 million.
In the first reading, the Chamber of Deputies supported the proposal to punish platforms for restricting content on public social networks. The bill would make it a criminal offense to remove, without justification, a post concerning matters of public interest that does not breach criminal law, international treaties, or good morals, with the aim of stifling freedom of speech.
Deputies from seven parliamentary groups said that social network operators are introducing internal rules on the admissibility of content which often go beyond the legal guarantees of freedom of expression. Deleting posts or blocking users in such cases is contrary to the Charter of Fundamental Rights, they said.