France introduces tough law to tackle terrorist content

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A new law passed in France this week will see online platforms being made to pull down terrorist or child sexual abuse content in just one hour unless they want to get slapped with a fine. The new law was inspired by a similar law being considered by the European Union which stalled. Firms failing to act in the allotted time could be fined up to 4% of their global revenue.

Aside from introducing rules to pull down terrorist and child abuse content in one hour, the law also says that other illegal content, such as those inciting hatred, violence, racism, or sexual harassment, must be taken down within 24 hours of notification. The introduction of the law suggests that France has lost trust in companies like Facebook to regulate themselves.

The law was brought to the French parliament by Laetitia Avia, an MP from President Macron’s La République En Marche! (LREM) party. She said that the new law would protect victims of crime while maintaining freedom of expression. The French Republican party, however, seemed to disagree and voted against the measure because it thought the law weakened freedom of expression.

Digital rights group La Quadrature du Net has also issued a warning about the law claiming that big companies have the capacity to remove content quickly but that smaller platforms do not have the resources to monitor content 24/7. There are also concerns that the measures could be used to stifle information about protests too.

Source: BBC News

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