Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter sued by French anti-racist groups for failing to remove hate speech

By midian182 ยท 11 replies
May 17, 2016
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  1. Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are facing legal troubles in France, where three organizations are planning legal action against the internet giants for failing to comply with French law by not removing hate speech from their respective sites.

    France’s largest anti-racism group, SOS Racisme, along with the French Jewish student union (UEJF) and gay rights movement SOS Homophobie, said that out of the 586 offensive videos, tweets, and comments they found during the month-long survey, only a small percentage was taken down.

    French law states that websites must remove any racist, homophobic, or anti-Semitic material and inform the authorities. The groups’ alerted the companies to the offensive content, but only a fraction of it was deleted. Facebook had the most positive response, erasing 53 out of 156 comments or messages, YouTube took down 16 out of 225 items, and Twitter removed just 8 out of the 205 Tweets that the group highlighted.

    "In light of YouTube, Twitter and Facebook's profits and how little taxes they pay, their refusal to invest in the fight against hate is unacceptable," said UEJF president Sacha Reingewirtz in a statement.

    French regulations state that digital providers must “suppress obviously illegal content within a reasonable time, and to notify it to public prosecutors.” The groups’ lawsuit is based on the fact that Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have seemingly failed to adhere to this law.

    Dominique Sopo, president of SOS Racisme, pointed out that Facebook was quick to take down content that it considers pornographic but rarely moves as fast to delete hate speech.

    "This makes us question whether Facebook, which is modeled on an American vision of society, is willing to conform to the standards of the French community and legal system," said Sopo. "These platforms seem more shocked by bare breasts, which are promptly censored, than by hate speech content against individuals or groups."

    Many European countries have similar laws to France that ban this type of offensive material; in December, Facebook, Google, and Twitter agreed to delete hate speech from their respective platforms in Germany.

    Permalink to story.

  2. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    Further reinforcing the notion that the French are monumental pussies.

    First, it was the Nazis. Now, words. Words.
    Hexic, wastedkill, EClyde and 3 others like this.
  3. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,335   +843

    Why are people like this taken seriously?
  4. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,040   +678

    The French - of all people. Good for them.
  5. mosu

    mosu TS Guru Posts: 474   +84

    No one is forcing nobody to take seriously comments on Facebook or Twitter and if one does not agree it should simply ignore or downgrade the said comment or leave the thread. The hate speech against other people is nothing new to humanity but somebody calling for censorship is utterly stupid.The next move would be someone suing them from banning liberty of speech.
    MilwaukeeMike likes this.
  6. loading

    loading TS Enthusiast Posts: 67   +13

    "This makes us question whether Facebook, which is modeled on an American vision of society..."

    Just wow. Pot meet kettle.

    I guess Facebook, Twitter and Youtube can say farewell and regional block anyone from France trying to connect to their services if it's too much to restrain oneself from reading such atrocities. But maybe this is all coming out the *** of Mr. Sopo, he does seem to want to enforce HIS agenda on everyone else.
  7. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,889   +1,223

    No, not good for them. Oppressive of them. When 'hate speech' is denied then all that you have to do to silence anyone you don't like to accuse them of using hate speech.
    See Exhibit A: American College Campuses.
  8. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,040   +678

    Your tears are delicious!
  9. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    LGBT: We want people to accept us and like us. So we're going to dictate what you can say and think.

    Jews: We want people to accept us and like us. So we're going to dictate what you can say and think.

    Feminists: We want people to accept us and like us. So we're going to dictate what you can say and think.

    Progressives: We want people to accept us and like us. So we're going to dictate what you can say and think.

    Ultra nationalist populist (from the not too distant future): Let me ask you, the people, a question. Who among you has suppressed your right to be heard? Who among you has libeled you for dissent; threatened your jobs, your livelihood? Who has imposed upon you fines and imprisonment for the expression of your speech? Who among you has taken it upon themselves to dictate what it is you can say and think?

    TL;DR: Thought policing does a great job at removing "hate." Right until the lock on the cage fails and the real predators get loose.
    Raoul Duke and Reehahs like this.
  10. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,302   +429

  11. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 574   +316

    Hate speech is only a problem when it is from a person who holds influence/authority as then they can exercise their power to negatively impact those they hate. I don't expect my great grandparents to change their Medieval/Victorian views of the world now, so I just have to exercise patience.
    Raoul Duke and Skidmarksdeluxe like this.
  12. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    If those chumps groups don't like the hate speech, they shouldn't read it, it's not as though it'll ever go away. What could be simpler?

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