Thursday, 10 November 2016

Spoil sport: Spain's PM Mariano Rajoy hopes to ban memes

In the latest blow to freedom of expression in Spain, Mariano Rajoy’s brand new PP government is hoping to make the sharing of memes on social media a crime.

The Popular Party has already put together a measure against the “spreading of images that infringe the honour of a person” and this was presented as a motion to Congress this week.

The PP are planning to include the latest measure in the controversial “Citizens Security Law” which was introduced back in July 2015. That law was dubbed the “Ley Mordaza” or “gag law,” as it restricts public protest, disrespecting the police and social media activism, with large fines imposed.

Social media was widely used during the 15M Indignados protests back in 2011 and activists have continued to utilize Facebook, Twitter etc. ever since, much to the dismay of Rajoy and his cohorts.

As reported by The Local, Carlos Sánchez Almeida from the Platform in Defence of Freedom of Information (PDLI) slammed this new measure as yet another threat to freedom of expression in Spain. Almeida said, “If the intent is to pursue those who publish images without consent then an act as widespread as sharing political criticism in the form of memes becomes a risky activity.”

Naturally this hasn’t stopped the outpouring of yet more political memes, particularly against Rajoy himself, as can be seen here and including some older posts.