Recently, a French politician named Breton went live on a radio interview and said that social media platforms that don’t delete harmful or illegal comments may be shut down in the country.
This comes in the context of the recent riots that France has been facing for the past couple of days.
The politician was approaching comments made by French President Emmanuel Macron about the role of social media in spreading messages of hate and instigations of rioting.
Breton said that “When there is hateful content, content that calls – for example – for revolt, that also calls for killing and burning of cars, they will be required to delete the content immediately.“
He cited the Digital Services Act that the EU will implement on August 25, 2023. The act will impose new requirements upon large social media platforms.
He went on to say that “If they fail to do so, they will be immediately sanctioned. We have teams who can intervene immediately. If they don’t act immediately, then yes, at that point we’ll be able to not only impose a fine but also to ban the operation of the platforms on our territory.”
A major requirement of the Digital Services Act is that platforms with over 45 million users will need to provide the European Commission with a detailed assessment of the major risks for users.
The consequence of refusal is a fine of up to 6% of the company’s global revenue.
Furthermore, the French politician also said that the European Commission will also undergo so-called “stress-tests” on selected social media platforms. TikTok is first but Meta has also agreed to one.
Twitter appears to have passed the test already and will be safe when the new content regulations are implemented by the EU.
Many have criticized this approach as being too reminiscent of authoritarian governments like China while others have praised it for being pragmatic and well-intended.
- Madras Tribune – Social media riot shutdowns possible under EU content law, top official says – POLITICO
- Legislative Observatory European Parliament – Digital Services Act
- Politico – Meta Agrees to July “Stress Test” on New EU Content Rules