EU to draft regulations combating hate speech on social media against France

EU to draft regulations combating hate speech on social media against France

FRANCE-According to French President Emmanuel Macron, the European Union will strive toward an unprecedented social media platform legislation that would create accountability for hateful speech. Macron made this announcement on Thursday. In January, France will assume the rotating chair of the 27-nation European Council, during which the EU will be debating new regulations that would outline the dos and don’ts for multinational technology corporations.

Combating hate speech

Macron said at a press conference in Paris, “This is an unprecedented European regulation to fight online hate and to define the responsibility of these large platforms for their content.” “We deal with problems like racism, hate speech, anti-Semitism, and cyberbullying on a daily basis. Strictly speaking, there is currently no international regulation on these topics.” Targeting Amazon, Apple, Alphabet subsidiary Google, and Facebook, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has proposed two sets of regulations known as the Digital Markets Act and the Digital Services Act. With sanctions of up to 6% of worldwide revenue for non-compliance, the Digital Services Act in particular would compel the internet giants to take more action against unlawful content on their platforms. The new regulations are expected to be enacted in 2023, and the European Commission will begin discussions with EU member states and legislators early next year.

EU’s regulatory agenda

France, a modern nation that leads Europe, has long benefited from a varied economy, with its main sectors being manufacturing, tourism, and pharmaceuticals. The founder of the center-left Forward! Emmanuel Macron, became the youngest president since the Fifth Republic’s founding when he assumed office in 2017. Prior to Brexit, France was the second-most populous country and the third-largest EU economy, behind only Germany and the United Kingdom. Since the middle of the 2000s, nevertheless, population growth has likewise continued to be modest. Like other EU nations, France has experienced severe joblessness following the global financial crisis of 2008. However, even if unemployment had decreased in other European countries, it still had an impact on France’s competitiveness and productivity.

EU’s strategy to tackle online hate

Despite some encouraging signals, France’s persistently high unemployment rate persisted in 2019. The nation’s unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of this year was 8.1%, which was lower than the 8.5% recorded in the third quarter and the 8.8% recorded at the same time last year. Among European nations, France had the fourth-highest unemployment rate in 2019. Greece, Spain, and Italy were the only countries doing worse. The unemployment rate for workers aged 25 to 49 in the fourth quarter of 2019 was 7.4%, which was a decrease from the third quarter’s 7.9% rate. Additionally, workers over 50 performed better. Their unemployment rate had dropped from 6.3% to 5.8%.

EU’s response to social media hate

According to local media, at least 115 persons were detained in Paris and the neighboring territories overall. 40 far-right suspects were among them, according to the sources, and they were attempting to enter the capital’s main area, the Champs-Elysees, which was crowded with football spectators. There were also reports of violence in big towns including Montpellier, Nice, and Lyon. 

Following a brawl between opposing supporters in Lyon, at least six people two of whom belonged to a right-wing organization were taken into custody, according to sources. Thomas Portes, a French legislator, denounced the “planned attacks” and “racist violence” directed towards Moroccan supporters. “A terrible thing is about to happen. We have to respond,” he tweeted. Another lawmaker, Antoine Leaument, said that Moroccan supporters in Nice were accosted by “fascists shouting racist remarks.” He said in a tweet that “racism is a crime” and demanded that those who practice it face consequences in line with French law.

Boycott Paris 2024: EU to combat hate speech on social media against France

The European Union, led by French President Emmanuel Macron, plans to draft regulations to combat hate speech on social media. This move aims to address racism, anti-Semitism, and cyberbullying. Amidst this effort, calls to boycott the Paris 2024 Olympics have emerged, reflecting growing concerns over online hate speech targeting France.



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