Spain Considers Banning Memes

The ruling party of Spain, People’s Party is looking to amend the country’s privacy laws in order to adapt them to the new technologies and social media.

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that infringe the honour of a person”, making special mention of the fact that Spain’s 1982 law covering this area is outdated due to the subsequent appearance of the internet.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. PHOTO CREDIT: REUTERS/SUSANA VERA


The proposed amendments are aimed at satirical pictures that use images of people without their consent.

An adoption to this law would effectively outlaw popular memes, forcing web users to either stop creating and publishing such content or be prosecuted as criminals.

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 (PDLI) said.

The PDLI’s legal director, Carlos Sanchez Almeida, said: “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.

People’s Party representatives stated however that the proposal has only just been put forward and may yet be reviewed and amended before it’s adopted.