New French law asks social media firms to delete criminal content in 1 hour

Source : IANS
Author : IANS
Last Updated: Thu, May 14th, 2020, 14:09:55hrs

London/San Francisco, May 14 (IANS) In a strict stand, the French government has passed a law that will force social media companies like Facebook and Twitter just an hour to delete content related to pedophelia and terrorism else they will have to face a fine of 4 per cent of their global revenue.

The new French law was passed on Wednesday that empowered regulators to slap huge fines on social media companies that fail to remove offensive and harmful content, reports the Wall Street Journal.

For other "manifestly illicit" content, companies like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat will have 24 hours to remove it.

"France's National Assembly passed a law that threatens fines of up to 1.25 million euros ($1.36 million) against companies that fail to remove 'manifestly illicit' hate-speech posts-such as incitement to racial hatred or anti-Semitism-within 24 hours of being posted," the report mentioned, citing the law.

The new law is a result of a year-long investigation by French regulators into Facebook's content moderation practices.

France passed a controversial "digital tax" last year against tech giants that received severe criticism from the US. US President Donald Trump's administration also condemned France's digital tax.

France's digital services tax "discriminates against US companies, is inconsistent with prevailing principles of international tax policy, and is unusually burdensome for affected US companies," US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer said in December.

"USTR's decision today sends a clear signal that the United States will take action against digital tax regimes that discriminate or otherwise impose undue burdens on US companies," Lighthizer said.

Italy also imposed a digital tax on tech giants last year, a 3 per cent levy on some digital revenue for technology companies that make over $831 million in global revenue, including at least $6 million in Italy.

The social media companies were yet to react to the new French law with strict guidelines on harmful content removal.

--IANS

na/