Thursday, September 19, 2013

China Tackles Online Slander

Chinese authorities have introduced a new law that threatens to imprison those who slander others online with up to 10 years in prison if the article is seen by 5000 or more people or shared 500 or more times. Many human rights activists have decried the law, noting that it will likely be used as a means to suppress freedom of speech and the exposure of corruption.

Others have also noted the seemingly arbitrary notion of viewers and reshares and how easily this, too, could be abused. The simple fact of the matter is that slander is a crime in almost every country and is not protected by Freedom of Speech nor considered an "opinion," so no new law is needed, merely the application of previously existing laws. And this makes it quite clear to me that this new law is specifically designed for the purposes of perverting justice and silencing opposition to corruption.

© C Harris Lynn, 2013

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