Spanish Government polices Twitter
Juan Fernandez Gonzalez
| 19 May 2014
Spain has seen the first arrests for comments posted on Twitter following the Government's decision to police the social network which hosts many critics of the country's politics.
Two apparently unconnected events have changed the Internet situation in Spain during the past week, leading to a debate about control of the internet. Firstly, the country's court, backed by the EU's justice tribunal, ruled to force Google to delete users' data if requested, following the so-called "right to forget". In addition, comments on a dramatic incident a week ago have been seen as criminal, leading to the first arrests in the country regarding Twitter activity. On top of that, the legality of a YouTube video is also being investigated.
A debate has now begun in Spain, with defenders of a free Internet facing those who believe that freedom has gone too far.
The online community, again mostly on Twitter, has been complaining about the arrests being very selective as not all users making comments that could be seen as criminal have been punished. In fact, in a similar polemic a year ago, the country's police said that this behaviour couldn't be punished and just had to be ignored.