What penalty can drop you if you step out of line on Twitter and Facebook?

Tragic political events or other sports can cause on Twitter and Facebook derogatory, offensive or ennobling political opinions or racial hatred, as has happened in recent weeks. Although they are few users who make these kinds of statements, the great communicative reach of these networks gets its impact from overflowing, so containing offenses become more painful. But the same technology that serves as the speaker of these people is used for justice and security forces to execute his arrest, so over secure Internet users than the rest of his life in the words expressed regret without measuring before consequences. Therefore, as explained below, before publishing a post or a tweet, should consider what types of comments have constituted a crime.

Where is the limit?

What is the boundary between the right to express ourselves freely and the criminal comment? The last performances of the Ministry of the Interior, with arrests of young tweeters, might seem exaggerated at first sight coup. But occur after observing the strict way that violated the assumptions referred to in the new reform of the Penal Code, which is adapted from those already considered for the analog world.

twitterThese arrests were made after analysis of allegedly offensive tweets, but where it should assess whether are part of freedom of expression or can establish as criminal behavior offenses to honor individuals or minorities, incitement to racial, religious hatred and other assumptions. In this sense, the line between one bank and another law becomes thinner with increasing aggressiveness comment. However, both the Ministry and from other political organizations have expressed the need for a debate on whether to regulate the behavior of users in social networks.

For lawyer Carlos Sánchez Almeida, this regulation is due to an attempted manipulation by some politicians of social networks, as the Penal Code covers criminal offenses that take place in them.

The digital editor Julio Alonso supports the thesis that Sánchez Almeida and add digital control Facebook, Twitter or any other network would be the equivalent of introducing a state of emergency in the street, as in military dictatorships. For Alonso, the free-use always within the law and without coercion Internet is fundamental to democracy.

In this sense, the Popular Party has filed a lawsuit against news aggregator Reddit to echo WhatsApp messages published in some blogs that were received by city officials. In the mayors and managers of different political “encouraged” to staff to remind them that they borrowed rallies soon reach new employment schemes.

What kind of comments can be a crime?

The lawyer David de Maeztu collected in a post on his blog the assumptions that the new reform of the Penal Code considers as offences: ranging from the most obvious to others more unknown or implausible. It is recommended to take them into account before publishing a post or a tweet.

1. If discharged threats, whether public or private, other users, penalties could reach one to five years in prison. If threats involve coercing another to do any act or to pay an amount, the sentence will be closer to five. If made in writing, by telephone or Internet, as is the case, the sentence also be around five years.

2. Imprisonment for two to five years to be imposed to disclose data, text, images or other personal material of another user that has been published and exhibited in confidence. This would apply to the disclosure of WhatsApp messages, but also commented on networks that have privacy restrictions by the issuer (e.g., take a screenshot of a private tweet and display it in another public tweet).

3. Slander, public or private, to another user attributing criminal or degrading actions has not punished with imprisonment of six months to two years. If these calumnies advertised (move in social networks and similar platforms) tend to the upper part of the sentence.

4. The injuries (actions or expressions that injure the dignity of another person) advertised on social networks, not in private, against any person will be considered a crime and punished with sentences between three and seven months in prison. If the charges were against public office, they referred to their management and demonstrate truthful, there will be crime.

5. Also disclose publicly trade secrets, including the company where we work, it could be considered a crime punishable by two to four years in prison, should there be a contractual obligation that expressly forbid it.

6. Any threat poured in social networks against the Crown and its members will be considered punishable by one to six years of sentence in accordance with the seriousness of the crime threats. Furthermore, slandering or insulting the king or any of his descendants or ascendants in social networks punishable by six months to two years in prison crime is estimated.

7. Slander, insult or threaten the Government of the Nation, the General Council of the Judiciary, the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court or the Governing Council or the Superior Court of autonomous community is punishable by one year at a year and a half in prison.

8. Similar situation will be found in those who have expressed outrage.

9. Injure, defame or incite hatred publicly towards sexual, religious, ethnic, political or other nature is punishable by six months to three years.

10. The case of victims of terrorism, any expression involving humiliation against these people be worthy of a penalty of one to two years.

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