Congress passes a non-legislative proposal to fight hate and violence speech online

On October 27, the Spanish Congress passed a non-legislative proposal (the “Proposal”) to fight any contents inciting hatred and violence online (“hate speech”). This Proposal urges the Government to:

Congress passes a non-legislative proposal to fight hate and violence speech online
November 10, 2020

On October 27, the Spanish Congress passed a non-legislative proposal (the “Proposal”) to fight any contents inciting hatred and violence online (“hate speech”). This Proposal urges the Government to:

  • Ensure that information and communications technology (ICT) companies have all the information necessary to report hate speech.
  • Streamline the mechanisms to report hate speech.
  • Ensure that any online content or website including hate speech be removed or taken down within 24 hours, or one hour in the case of underage victims.
  • Increase cooperation between ICT companies and law enforcement authorities.

The preamble justifies the need for the Proposal, arguing that there is equivalent legislation in France and Germany. However, note that the Conseil Constitutionnel found that the French provision interfered with freedom of expression and annulled it.

Although non-legislative proposals are not legally binding, they are a useful political tool. In practice, these proposals allow Parliament to urge the Government to act. After passing the Proposal, the Government may initiate procedures to pass legislation including the measures recommended in the Proposal.

It is worth recalling that the European Commission is reviewing the liability regime for online intermediaries. We will keep the blog updated on any developments.

Authors: Ane Alonso e Inés Cabañas

November 10, 2020