Council of Europe Looking To Ban Racist Websites07 November 2002

The Council of Europe’s decision-making body (the Committee of Ministers) has adopted a measure that would criminalize Internet hate speech, including hyperlinks to pages that contain offensive content. The provision updates the European Convention on Cybercrime.

The amendment bans “any written material, any image or any other representation of ideas or theories, which advocates, promotes or incites hatred, discrimination or violence, against any individual or group of individuals, based on race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin, as well as religion if used as pretext for any of these factors.” It also specifically bans Holocaust denial sites.

Representatives of the 44 countries that form the European Council will vote on the measure during the next Parliamentary Assembly session in January. If passed, supporting countries will then need to include it in their national legislatures before it becomes law.

This will certainly hamper racist football groups’ websites. Now, we just need to ban the racists from football stadiums.