General

Using the "like" button on Facebook is an act of communication

Using the

Social networks have become one of the most used means of communication. On a daily basis, most human beings use the virtual communication that Facebook offers to interact.

The use of the button "I like it”On Facebook regarding a photo, a comment or in relation to content uploaded to said social network, represents a act of communication between people.

It is an action that a priori lacks legal significance, but which gains importance in legal traffic when the person who uses This icon has been condemned by the prohibition to communicate by any means, with the affected person.

This is the case in cases of acts associated with certain crimes, such as the crime of threats, provided for and punished in article 171 of the Penal Code. In those cases in which this crime has been perpetrated, and in order to prevent its repetition, the legislator establishes several measures such as:

- Restraining measure: It tries to avoid the physical risk that the physical threat is fulfilled;

- measure of the prohibition of communication: It aims to prevent the victim from feeling a logical and reasonable fear in case the condemned send you a message that it would violate him in his privacy and in the fear of witnessing a message from someone who has already been condemned.

Message can be understood as any form of communication, including online or digital communication in which the issuer is easily identifiable.

Thus, the use of the icon "I like it”Is a message, an act of virtual communication, capable of generating fear in the victim if received from the person who threatened you. In those cases, the actor would be violating the penalty of prohibition of communication already established.

The issue may seem trivial and lead to think that judges and courts have adopted a criterion of “thin skin"With respect to an act as everyday as hitting a button"I like it”.

However, it is clear that this is not an isolated and inconsequential act. The proliferation of social networks brings with it an increase in virtual communication to the detriment of physical communication, and controlling these means of communication is undoubtedly a pending objective.


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