France Accuses Social Networks of Inciting Riots, Imposes Tough Sanctions

French government suggested that Twitter and TikTok should delete content that contributes to violence and riots in real life. This initiative comes after a wave of civil protests in the country following the murder of a teenager in a suburb of Paris.

The French government has proposed that social networks should delete or block access to any messages, images, videos, or live broadcasts that clearly incite violence against people in positions of power, encourage the destruction of buildings or public property, or promote invading such spaces. Operators who fail to comply with this request within two hours after receiving an order from the competent administrative body may face up to one year of imprisonment and a fine of up to €250,000.

The French government claims that recent events have demonstrated the increasing impact of social networks on riots and violent movements.

Nevertheless, this law raises several questions and concerns. It is unclear who will bear responsibility: platform operators, moderators, or message authors. It is also unclear how the determination of what constitutes incitement will be made and how decisions will be reviewed and appealed. Additionally, it is uncertain how sanctions will be imposed on foreign companies and citizens.

The regulation of social networks may result in significant changes across all platforms, or, if deemed necessary, a complete ban on them for the benefit of society. However, holding individual employees or shareholders of Twitter accountable for a reactive response to this law amendment will not resolve the underlying issues.

* Please note that Twitter is prohibited in the Russian Federation.

/Reports, release notes, official announcements.