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Freedom of expression in Europe: Who draws the line?

– EURACTIV organised this Forum to discuss the current challenges on freedom of expression

– Free speech advocates highlighted the danger of censorship in “hate speech” regulation


BRUSSELS (17.5.2018) – Hate speech laws are spreading in Europe as EU governments and international organisations try to find measures to defuse conflicts. At first sight, these laws seem to foster a civilised discourse, but free speech advocates, journalists and lawyers warn of excessive limitations of this most basic human right. 

Germany has recently passed a hate speech law that fines companies up to €50 million if they don’t remove “hateful” content in good time. It remains unclear, however, what exactly qualifies as “hateful” and who defines it. Politicians, the clergy and everyday citizens have been prosecuted for “hate speech”. Last year, Dutch MP Geert Wilders was convicted for inciting discrimination against Dutch Moroccans. He called the prosecution a lawsuit against freedom of speech.  More….

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