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Social media star challenges censorship ruling

#FreeToShare

Topic | Freedom of Speech

The video in which Colombian YouTuber Kika Nieto shared her beliefs about marriage, should not have been censored – so ruled the Colombian Supreme Court. After an activist complained about her statement, a national court had denied Nieto’s right to freedom of expression by ordering her to remove the 2018 video. The Constitutional Court has now overturned that decision and dismissed the lawsuit. Neito has thus been cleared of any wrongdoing. Despite the ruling in her favor, Nieto’s legal team expressed disappointment that the Court refused to address the underlying issue of her freedom of expression. 

Who:
Kika Nieto

Where:
Constitutional Court of Colombia

Advocacy Team:
Tomas Henriquez, Robert Clarke

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"Everyone should be free to share their beliefs in public. No one should be censored or fear criminal sanctions just for posting a video. By speaking out, I hope to inspire more tolerance of different opinions."

Case Summary

Responding to a viewer’s question in a 2018 “Ask Me Anything” video, social media star Erika “Kika” Nieto had shared her views on marriage while expressing tolerance for all other views. 

In a separate case that arose from the same video, the Colombian Constitutional Court had already ruled that Nieto’s speech on marriage is constitutionally protected. However, another activist took Nieto to court, complaining that this same comment about marriage was offensive and discriminatory. This time, a lower court considered the video to contain “hate speech” and thus ordered its removal from YouTube.

The Colombian NGO Nueva Democracia — a civil society platform advocating for freedom of expression and other fundamental rights — represented Nieto in the current case. They asked the Constitutional Court to uphold fundamental freedoms and overturn the lower court’s decision. ADF International supported Nueva Democracia. In June 2021, the Colombian Constitutional Court decided to accept the case for review. In November 2021, the Constitutional Court overturned the lower court’s decision and dismissed the lawsuit. Neito has thus been cleared of any wrongdoing. See Kika’s video sharing her story above.

“Freedom of speech is a fundamental right that is coming under increasing fire in today’s ‘cancel culture’. Nieto’s case shows that the freedom to share what we believe must be properly protected. Whether someone agrees or disagrees with certain views, censorship inevitably leads down a dangerous path. Censorship creates fear, freedom of speech fosters a vibrant civil society,” said Robert Clarke, Deputy Director of ADF International.

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Colombian social media star challenges censorship ruling

Are we allowed to share Christian views on social media? The Constitutional Court will have to answer this question, at least for Colombia. Responding to a viewer’s question in an “Ask Me Anything” video, social media star Erika “Kika” Nieto had shared her views on marriage while expressing tolerance for all other views.

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