Norway: Sex offender asks Norway’s Supreme Court to declare social media access is a human right

Source: 5/1/24

STAVANGER, Norway — A convicted sex offender is asking the Norwegian Supreme Court to declare that social media access is a human right.

The case before the court Thursday involves a man who molested a minor and used the Snapchat messaging app to connect with young boys.

The unidentified offender was sentenced last year to 13 months in prison and banned from using Snapchat for two years.

His lawyers argue that depriving him of his account is unlawful under the European Convention on Human Rights.

The case turns on how vital social media have become for freedom of expression, even though the court must decide the case through laws that predate such sites.

“The case raises important questions about the extent to which the state can restrict access to social media platforms, which are significant tools for exercising the right to freedom of expression and maintaining social connections,” defense lawyer John Christian Elden said.

A November 2023 appeal against the ban failed with the state successfully arguing it was “proportionately measured against the fact that the defendant has used Snapchat to exploit children sexually.” The Appeal Court added that he still had the right to use other social media. If the Supreme Court also upholds the decision, the offender could attempt to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

The European convention has been used before to test the limits on Norwegian justice. Anders Behring Breivik, the far-right extremist who murdered 77 people in 2011, lost a court challenge in February that argued being held in isolation while serving his prison sentence amounted to inhumane punishment under the convention.

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This guy should consider himself lucky. I would support a specific social media ban like this for someone who has used it to harm children. Two years is more than reasonable. He should humble down and accept his punishment like a man, instead of whining like a kid over it.

A 2 year ban seems more than fair since he used it to commit his crime. At least in 2 years he can have it back, unlike other felons who lose things for life, like not being able to own guns with a felony conviction. A person who commits a DUI loses his right to drive for a set period of time. A person who shoplifts can be banned from the store forever. I see no difference here and I doubt the court will side with him on this.
Take your lumps and move on for the next 2 years and don’t do it again.

13 months? This guy is lucky. If this were the U.S. it would have been LIFE in prison.