Facebook might be fined by France over hate speech

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French lawmakers endorsed a measure on Thursday to force tech businesses such as Facebook and Google to remove content deemed as “hate speech” by the French government, reported previously today by Associate press.

The provision was enacted by the French Parliament’s lower house on Thursday, which is part of a bigger internet regulation bill. It would generate a 24-hour deadline for social networks if it were to be fully approved to remove hate speech from their platforms once it is flagged. The bill will migrate to the upper chamber of the body, its Senate, for debate, according to the New York Times.

The language included in the measure requires businesses, to remove any material that incites or promotes hateful violence or discrimination based on one’s race or faith, also child pornography will be flagged. If the platforms do not remove the content in that timeframe, they may face a fine of up to € 1.25 million.

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The measure was suggested earlier this year by French President Emmanuel Macron, who noted an rise in the amount of anti-Semitic assaults and extremist language and behavior online. French lawmakers have been split on how they define hate speech in the bill, according to the Associate press.

Germany endorsed a comparable legislation in 2018, which formally entered into effect on 1 January. This law requires platforms to remove content that is illegal under German law within the same 24-hour period, but bumps up to € 50 million into the prospective fine.

Following the tragic mosque assaults in Christchurch, New Zealand previously this year, social media platforms have been under enhanced pressure to remove hateful content. Facebook, which was used by the attacker to broadcast the shooting, moved to turn white nationalist and separatist material into a breach of its laws.

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