Facebook to help France fight hateful content

The company will share with French judicial officials the IP addresses of users who post hateful content

Afp June 26, 2019
Facebook's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the Viva Tech start-up and technology summit in Paris, France, May 24, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS


Facebook will share with French judicial officials the IP addresses of users who post hateful content, an aide to digital affairs minister Cedric O said Tuesday.

The vast social media platform has agreed to provide the addresses of accounts containing "homophobic, racist or anti-Semitic content" at the request of judicial officials, the aide told AFP.

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IP (Internet Protocol) addresses allow investigators to identify and locate the computers used to make such posts.

Facebook's commitment "concerns only France", the aide said. Facebook declined to comment when reached by AFP.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with French President Emmanuel Macron in May to discuss ways to combat hateful content.

On Monday Facebook's head of global affairs, and former British deputy prime minister, Nick CLegg said that Governments, not companies, must regulate social networks.

"It's not for private companies, however big or small, to come up with those rules. It is for democratic politicians in the democratic world to do so," Clegg told the BBC in an interview.

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The French parliament is to examine a bill on "cyber hatred" which would require internet platforms to remove within 24 hours content deemed "manifestly illicit" because of references to "race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disabilities".

The draft bill also calls for a "simplification and standardisation of the forms used to report illicit content".

The legislation would create a "single reporting button" common to all platforms.


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