Bosnian Serb parliament passes law that limits freedom of speech on social media

Features Associated Press

Lawmakers in the Serb part of Bosnia have passed a controversial law that allows authorities to fine people who post offensive content on social networks — a move rights activists have labeled as limiting freedom of expression.

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The law was passed Thursday by a vote of 46-0 after opposition lawmakers left the session in protest. One MP said the region, Republika Srpska, can now change its name to "North Republika Srpska," drawing a parallel to the harsh censorship in North Korea.

The regional parliament extended the definition of public space in the existing public order law to include social networks. What would constitute "offensive content" is open to government interpretation. The EU has said the definitions in the law remain vague and leave too much room for arbitrary implementation.