Date: Sarajevo, 6.1.2016
the self-regulatory body for print and online media
to administer visitor comments with the utmost caution and to ban authors of offensive contents, threats, hate speech and incitement!
The Press Council reminds online portal editors about their responsibility of preventing the spread of hate speech, because hate speech is not freedom of speech and is subject to criminal liability!
Due to the drastically inciting comments, riddled with hate speech and calls for hate crimes on online portals in the past days, in relation to reports about the tragic death of a fourteen-year old boy in Sarajevo, and the upcoming 9th of January, which is commemorated in RS as the day of RS, the Complaints Commission of the Press Council in BiH, APPEALS to editors and online media portal owners, calling for the utmost responsibility whilst selecting comments of their visitors.
Such comments are very dangerous, disturbing for citizens and they lead to hate crimes.
Portal editors are responsible for instantly removing all chauvinistic and threatening contents. In the case they are not able to control their web-space they should disable the possibility of posting comments.
It is the editors’ duty to remove comments containing hate speech, discrimination, threats and incitement, and to ban the ones posting them for a certain time or to completely revoke their right to post comments about articles.
By failing to remove comments of inappropriate content and by keeping them on the portal, the editor accepts full responsibility for their content.
The Complaints Commission of the Press Council reminds portal editors and owners alike, as well as all citizens who use the web portal space to express themselves freely, that incitement, threats and hate speech are subject to criminal responsibility, in accordance with the Criminal Code of BiH, XV - Chapter Fifteen, Criminal Acts against the Freedoms and Rights of Men and Citizens, the Criminal Code of FBiH and the Criminal Code of RS, XVII - Chapter Seventeen, Criminal Acts against the Freedoms and Rights of Men and Citizens.
Content with inciting, threatening comments and hate speech calling for murder will be reported to the police and prosecution authorities.
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