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Coronavirus: is it a crime to spread hoaxes?

One of the many things that the coronavirus crisis has made clear to us is the large number of hoaxes that circulate on the network, and that in situations like this they spread unstoppably. Today we analyze if it is a crime spread hoaxes, a fashion that the authorities work hard to finish, although it seems difficult.

One of the great challenges that the Security Forces have set themselves during this pandemic is detect hoaxes to cut them immediately and thus avoid spreading false news that has only been created to confuse citizens. The premise is to only share information from official sources, and at least contrast any news that is seen.

Is spreading hoaxes a crime?

The reality is that detecting hoaxes is increasingly difficult thanks to social networks and messaging applications, mainly. For this reason, the State Attorney General’s Office has published a document in which it reports the crimes that can be incurred if hoaxes are shared, whether you have created them or not. Yes, spreading hoaxes is a crime, and in this list you will see the consequences:

Hate crimes: from 6 months to 2 years in prison and a fine of 6 to 12 months.
Discovery and disclosure of secrets– 2 to 5 years in prison if the false information includes personal information that is authentic.
Crime against moral integrity: from 6 months to 2 years in prison in the most serious cases and when the victim is an individual.
Public disorder: from 3 months and 1 day to 1 year in prison or a fine of 3 to 18 months. Applicable when the false news is related to terrorist attacks, alarm messages or catastrophes.
Injuries and slander: if there is publicity in the insults they can be fines of 6 to 14 months, while without it they will be 3 to 7 months. As for slander, they can carry from 6 months to 2 years in prison or fines of 12 to 24 months.
Crime against public health, fraud and intrusion: the prison sentence can be from 6 months to 3 years, since there is a business around these hoaxes, mainly made to raise money that will never go to the cause that is announced.

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