France’s Determination to End Free Speech

Allah's Willing Executioners

On May 13, the French parliamentadopteda law that requires online platforms such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat[1]to remove reported “hateful content” within 24 hours and “terrorist content” within one hour. Failure to do so could result inexorbitant finesofup to €1.25 millionor 4% of the platform’s global revenue in cases of repeated failure to remove the content.

The scope of online content deemed “hateful” under what is known as the “Avia law” (after the lawmaker who proposed it) is, as is common in European hate speech laws, very broadly demarcated andincludes”incitement to hatred, or discriminatory insult, on the grounds of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or disability”.

The French law was directly inspired by Germany’s controversialNetzDG law, adopted in in October 2017, and it is explicitlymentionedin the introduction to the Avia law.


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