You have the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of your choice without interference and regardless of frontiers.

This means:

You have the freedom to express yourself online and to access information and the opinions and expressions of others. This includes political speech, views on religion, opinions and expressions that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive, but also those that may offend, shock or disturb others. You should have due regard to the reputation or rights of others, including their right to privacy.

Restrictions may apply to expressions which incite discrimination, hatred or violence. These restrictions must be lawful, narrowly tailored and executed with court oversight.

You are free to create, re-use and distribute content respecting the right to protection of intellectual property, including copyright.

Public authorities have a duty to respect and protect your freedom of expression and your freedom of information. Any restrictions to this freedom must not be arbitrary, must pursue a legitimate aim in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights such as, among others, the protection of national security or public order, public health or morals, and must comply with human rights law. Moreover, they must be made known to you, coupled with information on ways to seek guidance and redress, and not be broader or maintained for longer than is strictly necessary to achieve a legitimate aim.

Your Internet service provider and your provider of online content and services have corporate responsibilities to respect your human rights and provide mechanisms to respond to your claims. You should be aware, however, that online service providers, such as social networks, may restrict certain types of content and behaviour due to their content policies. You should be informed of possible restrictions so that you are able to take an informed decision as to whether to use the service or not. This includes specific information on what the online service provider considers as illegal or inappropriate content and behaviour when using the service and how it is dealt with by the provider.

You may choose not to disclose your identity online, for instance by using a pseudonym. However, you should be aware that measures can be taken, by national authorities, which might lead to your identity being revealed.

Explanatory Memo >>