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Blog on Strasbourg Observers about online “hate speech”

In Savva Terentyev v. Russia the ECtHR has applied a very high level of free speech-protection for aggressively insulting and hostile comments about police officers, published on a weblog. The ECtHR observes that some of the wording in the blog post was offensive, insulting and virulent, but it found that the (emotional and sarcastic) comments as a whole could not be seen as inciting to hatred or violence against the police in Russia. In contrast with the findings by the Russian authorities, the ECtHR is of the opinion that Terentyev’s blog did not pose “a clear and imminent danger”. In our blog on Strasbourg Observers we endorse the reasoning by the ECtHR and its application of the “clear and imminent danger”-test.

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