Spanish government attempts to ban memes

By Matt Ford Thursday, 10 November 2016 15:01 3 comments

A PLAN by Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy’s Popular Party (PP) government to ban the use of memes in the country met with an immediate and comical backlash on social media on Thursday, November 10.

The scheme was put before Congress and would see restrictions placed on “spreading images that infringe the honour of a person,” referencing a 1992 law that is now outdated due to the emergence of the internet.

PP politicians want the new ruling added to the unpopular Citizen Security Law, which was introduced in 2015 and places curbs on public protests, social media commentaries and disrespecting the police. It has been referred to as “the gag law” by critics.

They may not find it so easy, however, since they hold only 137 of the 350 available parliamentary seats after the PP finally received approval for a second term thanks to support from liberal party Cuidadanos, leaving Rajoy with the weakest mandate in Spain's recent political history.

Free speech champions view the scheme as an attack on humourous political commentary, and Spain’s Platform for the Defence of Freedom of Information said: “We are worried about this reform because internet does not require special laws; the same rights and duties should exist online as offline."

Carlos Sánchez Almeida from the Platform in Defence of Freedom of Information said: “If the plan is to clamp down on any publication of images without consent of the individual, the popular activity of using memes to generate political or social criticism would become dangerous.”

Amusingly, minutes after the news emerged, Twitter users published a string of memes ridiculing the proposals, alongside the hashtag #SinMemesNoHayDemocracia.

Here are some examples:

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Comments (3)

  1. Andrew from Swiss

In my opinion Spain is a country where freedom of speech is noticeable, whereas on few occasion one can encounter derogatory remarks and inappropriate pictures which sometimes can be termed "WAY BEYOND LIMITATION". Under those situation the ban...

In my opinion Spain is a country where freedom of speech is noticeable, whereas on few occasion one can encounter derogatory remarks and inappropriate pictures which sometimes can be termed "WAY BEYOND LIMITATION". Under those situation the ban law might come handy because it is really easy to criticize someone rather than complimenting for good deeds. However, to me Spain is a beautiful country where food and weather is the best combined with night life and sports which makes this nation a great place to live. I would suggest the government to work on issues that are the most important for the moment and that is to minimize the unemployment rate esp among youth which stands over 50 percent. Do not let them call themselves the lost generation because these people can take Spain to greater heights if provided with opportunities and a bit of guidance.

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  1. Alan Bowman

How can anyone take much notice of a man with three female names : María Nora Joy ? Just what were his parents thinking of? "A boy called Sue?"

 
  1. ramon liebana    Alan Bowman

Dear Sir, let me kindly inform you that you completly misunderstood his name. MARIAN ORA JOY. As you can see, fot sure, their parents were expecting the best for him, as any parents do.

 
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