When does The Freedom of Expression Law (YGL) apply?
Sweden’s Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression (YGL) applies to sites that Swedish Radio provides and on which only we can change the content. The publisher of each page is responsible for its content, but not for the comments fields (see below). YGL also applies to articles that we share from sverigesradio.se.
However, the publisher’s responsibility does not apply to anything we publish in any way other than by sharing on social media. Consequently, it is important how and where sensitive material is published. YGL does not apply, for example, to YouTube videos, programme pages on Facebook, Facebook posts, or tweets. In those cases, individual employees and other participants/users are personally responsible for what they say/write. Every manager must inform employees who work with social media about this.
YGL’s protection for the content on sverigesradio.se may fail if you embed something without this being disclaimed clearly enough. Consequently, embedded material on Swedish Radio’s website must be disclaimed by a text that makes it clear to users that the content is from a sender other than Swedish Radio, that it is not part of the editorial content, and that it is therefore not subject to the publisher’s sole responsibility.
Legal liability for comments. An open comments field in which comments are moderated after they are posted does not come under YGL. This means that there is no responsible publisher under the law and each author is criminally liable for what they write. However, anyone who provides a comments field must supervise the service under the Swedish Lag (1998:112) om ansvar för elektroniska anslagstavlor (Sweden's Act on Liability for Electronic Bulletin Boards). As the provider, Swedish Radio may therefore be held liable if we do not rapidly remove posts containing anything that may be criminal, for example agitation against an ethnic or national group, incitement to violence or copyright infringement.
Mentioning someone on social media. Remember that mentioning, tagging or pinging a person, organisation or any other party criticised in our journalism is not the same thing as having ‘attempted to reach’ someone for comment, for example when an organisation or person has been criticised. You must always make reasonable efforts to reach a person before the criticism is published (i.e. by phone and/or email, and on repeated occasions to be on the safe side).