Like Germany, French president Macron targets websites' content

French president Emmanuel Macron presented on 3 January a bill that aims to impose more transparency and control to online platforms such as Facebook or Google. Macron wants it to be an effective law before the end of 2018. This initiative follows to a German law launched on 1 January, targeting online hate speech by summing social media companies to delete heinous posts within 24 hours.

After the Russian attempts to interfere in the 2017 French presidential elections by spreading the fake news about pro-European candidates, Macron’s project would ensure the news' accuracy relayed on websites. Concretely, it would provide judges the right to block a site or remove news identified as fake. The Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA), the French media watchdog, would be the guarantor of successful law. Although, this proposal raises concerns about the freedom of speech, as the control of supposed fake news would be done by state authorities. Already controversial, the German law on hate speech is considered as inadequate by oppostition parties, as the German freedom of speech could be regulated by foreign companies such as Twitter. For example, on 3 January, Titanic magazine Twitter account was blocked by the US company after a satiric post, the German Journalist Association calling it censorship. 

About author: Martin Macq

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