French law requires Facebook and Twitter to remove terrorist and pedophile content in an hour

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New law in France requires social media networks to delete some content within the hour or face penalty of 4% of revenue

Facebook and Twitter will have to watch the posts made in France with a magnifying glass. A new law passed by the French parliament requires the social media networks to remove pedophile and terrorism-related content from their platforms within the hour or face a fine of up to 4% of their global revenue.

The French parliament passed this historic law on Wednesday with a clear majority. The new law could have reverberations across the world. The new law requires social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. to remove pedophile and terrorist content within an hour. The new law also states that these platforms need to remove hateful content promoting racism, sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, and aggravated insults within 24 hours of notification.

The law also raised the cap of the fine in case of a breach from 37,500 euros ($40,534) to 1.2 million euros ($1.35 million). The fine can even go up to 4% of the company’s global revenues.

The law has run into rough weather among the rights and privacy groups who fear the law will allow the government with unfettered powers to delete any content claiming it to be terrorism-related. Others warned that it was unrealistic to think the content could be withdrawn within the hour and the law was unnecessary.

In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said that this regulation is important in helping combat extremist content:

For many years, fighting online hate has been a top priority for Facebook. We have clear rules against it and have invested in people and technology to better identify and remove it. Regulation is important in helping combat this type of [extreamist]content. We will work closely with the Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel and other stakeholders on the implementation of this law.

Twitter France public affairs chief Audrey Herblin-Stoop said the company would continue to work closely with the government to build a safer Internet and fight against illegal hate speech while protecting an open internet, freedom of expression and fair competition.

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"The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had." Eric Schmidt

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