WHAT CONSTITUTES PUNISHABLE HATE SPEECH ONLINE?
Did you know that hate speech can be an offence? It makes no difference whether the hate speech is uttered in person or online. The rules that apply online are the same as everywhere else. It is sometimes difficult to know when an act constitutes an offence. This website helps you to determine whether you should report hate speech to the police. When you have reported the offence, the police will investigate the matter.
Hate speech is not only speech
Hate speech is communication that spreads or incites hatred against one person or population group. Such communication may be speech, but it may also be writing, pictures, symbols, music, drawings and films.
Hate speech is prohibited by law
Some hate speech is punishable. This means that it is prohibited by the Criminal Code of Finland. The punishment for hate speech may a fine or imprisonment.
Hate speech is not freedom of expression
Freedom of expression belongs to everyone, but it also has limits. Freedom of expression does not mean that you can violate the rights of other people. For example, criticising politics is a part of well-functioning democracy. Threatening or defaming people or population groups, on the other hand, is not political discussion.
ASK FOR SUPPORT
Encountering hate speech or becoming a victim or witness of a criminal offence yourself may evoke strong feelings. Many have feelings of anxiety, fear and insecurity. It is important to ask for support if you feel you need it.
Victim Support Finland offers practical advice and mental health support for those who have been victims of a crime or an attempted crime, their friends and family and people who give evidence in criminal cases. https://www.riku.fi/en/home/
The Help.some application – support for young people in cases of online bullying. http://www.netari.fi/ohjaustajaneuvontaa/helpsome/
The Sekasin chat for young people. Conversational therapy in all life situations. https://sekasin247.fi/
The Mannerheim League for Child Welfare has a helpline, chat and messaging service in which children and young people can ask and talk about anything confidentially. www.nuortennetti.fi/apua-ja-tukea/lasten-ja-nuorten-puhelin
Someturva is a low-threshold legal aid service for all social media users. https://www.someturva.fi/