Spain’s ruling Popular Party (PP) has presented a reform proposal to Congress that could result in the banning of memes, social network users’ way of gaining comic revenge on the politicians that rule our lives.
The reform wishes to curb the “spreading of images that infringe the honour of a person”, making special mention of the fact that Spain’s 1982 law covering this area is outdated due to the subsequent appearance of the internet.
But campaigners for free speech see the proposal as an attack against the sometimes irreverent humour and political expression in memes, many of which have poked fun at the PP’s leader and conservative prime minister, Mariano Rajoy.
“We are worried about this reform because internet does not require special laws; the same rights and duties should exist online as offline,” Spain’s Platform for the Defence of Freedom of Information said.
The PDLI’s legal director, Carlos Sánchez Almeida, said that the reform appeared designed to “censor memes”.
“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.”