06/26/2019 (Wed) 17:19:51
"It is a strong signal in terms of regulation," said Sonia Cisse, a counsel at law firm Linklaters, adding that it was a world first. "Hate speech is no longer considered part of freedom of speech, it's now on the same level as terrorism."
With Facebook's latest move, France is now a clear frontrunner in the quest to regulate big social media outlets, and other platforms might follow suite, Cisse said.
The discussions on how to best regulate tech giants began with a Zuckerberg-Macron meeting last year, followed by a report on tech regulation last month that Facebook's founder considered could be a blueprint for wider EU regulation.
Facebook had refrained from handing over identification data of people suspected of hate speech because it was not compelled to do so under U.S.-French legal conventions and because it was worried countries without an independent judiciary could abuse it.
France's parliament, where Macron's ruling party has a comfortable majority, is debating legislation that would give the new regulator the power to fine tech companies up to 4% of their global revenue if they don't do enough to remove hateful content from their network.
O also signalled his openness to seeing French startups being snapped up by larger U.S. companies, in a spite of recent measures taken by Macron's government to bolster anti-takeover rules to protect the country's strategic companies.
"My only goal is to spur the creation of a lot of companies," he said. "I have no problem with the fact that some of them are bought by U.S. companies, as long as they don't have critical technology."
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