Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola has used a court victory over a person who threatened her online to warn the public that they can be held responsible for what they write online.
“I meet too many young people – women in particular- who look at politics with trepidation because of the amount of hate being spewed in our political discourse,” Metsola said. “I owe it to them to take a stand against hate speech and threats. This can never be normalised.”
“We have to be able to disagree without resorting to hatred, people need to understand that they are not anonymous online, they are responsible for what they write and I hope this sends a positive message to young girls and boys across Malta and Gozo.”
A few months ago, Metsola reported a certain Josef Farrugia to the police after he commented on Facebook that Metsola should “be careful as you will end up like [Daphne Caruana] Galizia.”
Farrugia responded by deleting his Facebook account, unconditionally apologising to the MEP and pledging that he has no intention of ever hurting her.
Magistrate Joe Mifsud conditionally discharged the accused for three years and issued a five-year protection order for Metsola.
“Everyone has the right to express themselves, even if they disagree with the person they are speaking about, but no one has the right to threaten or create an impression that a serious crime like a homicide will take place,” Mifsud roled. “Daphne Caruana Galizia should never have ended up as she did; not only did her murder leave a vacuum within her family but a gaping wound in our country. You may disagree with a person but no one should end up like she did. Not her, not anyone.