PRESSURES ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
It would be nearly impossible to exhaustively list the ways in which someone can put pressure on and threaten freedom of expression. Those who have been targeted with online pressure or abuse will undoubtedly feel its consequences.
For the broader public, we can see these threats everywhere - from commenting threads, social media platforms, and increasing hate speech and intentional defamation.
It has been nearly impossible to legally qualify the idea of ‘pressure’ as it is perceived, as it rarely meets legal thresholds for prosecution. However, this type of assault, in targeting journalists and activists, causes serious distortions in and manipulates public debate and decision making. Taken as a threat to freedom of expression as a whole, ‘pressure’ can reach a legal threshold, but the legal system is unable to effectively address the problem as it can provide only individual, and not collective, protections.
Independent State bodies, such as the Ombudsperson for the Protection of Citizens’ Rights can carry out investigations and issue public warnings to government officials or other public figures who put pressure on journalists and/or single them out through targeted assaults.