19 Jun, 2020 @ 19:39
1 min read

Spanish website ordered to pay €1,200 compensation to former PP councillor on Spain’s Costa del Sol for slanderous comments on their post

Man On Internet

A FORMER councillor on the Costa del Sol has won a Supreme Court case against a social news website for slander.

The Supreme Court ruled in favour of a former Marbella councillor, against Meneame and ordered the website to pay €1,200 of compensation.

The former councillor took the website to court over the fact that they had failed to delete a comment on one of their posts, calling him a ‘son of a bitch’.

Meneame does not accept the Court’s judgement and will take the case to the Constitutional Court, as they consider the ruling ‘an outrage’.

The ‘soap opera’ began in 2017 when the local court in Marbella ruled in favour of the website stating that the ‘son of a bitch’ comment was not used as a personal attack on the ex-councillor, but it was referring to politicians in general.

The plaintiff however decided to appeal the case at the Andalucian Court, which ended up ruling in his favour, stating that the comments violated his right to honour.

The regional court stated that Meneame’s role as ‘service provider’ meant that they were obligated to remove the insults from their public page, even if they didn’t write them.

Meneame’s lawyer, Sánchez Almeida argues that: “This can affect the internet as a medium, we are talking about a social network like Twitter or Facebook and this could set an even worse precedent than the one Donald Trump was proposing.”

This is why the website has appealed the case both to the Supreme Court but now also the Constitutional Court, because as they claim the €1,200 fine is not the problem, but it sets a dangerous precedent for freedom of expression on the internet.

“We will continue fighting for the freedom to use expressions that are embedded in our language, such as asshole, scoundrel or thief (please, do not think we are using them against any particular individual),” the managers of Meneame explain in their statement.

“For us, it is important to point out that, given the volume of comments generated daily on Meneame by more than two million users per month, it is physically impossible for us to verify each and every one of them,” they add.

Dimitris Kouimtsidis

GOT A STORY? Contact me now: [email protected] or call +34 951 273 575 or +44 75 358 167 18. Twitter: @dkouimtsidis.
Dimitris has a BA in History from the University of Leeds and an MA in Journalism (Sports) from the University of Lincoln.
He joined the Olive Press team as a journalist in January 2020.

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