Macron To Force Social Media and Search Engines to Censor ‘Hate Speech’
New bill targets videos or messages inciting or glorifying 'hate.'
A new measure intended to force social media networks and search engines to scrub 'hate speech' from the internet has been approved by French lawmakers under French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron, according to reports.
As part of the bill on internet regulation, the provision targets videos or messages inciting or glorifying 'hate speech,' 'terrorism,' 'racism' or religious abuse.'
People who violate the laws face hefty fines.
But the move ignited a heated discussion in the National Assembly on the definition of hate speech.
The bill will move to the body’s upper chamber, their Senate, for discussion next, according to the New York Times.
Macron also proposed a similar law earlier this year amid increasing in anti-Semitic incidents in France and concerns about increasing extremist language online.
But the blanket term of 'hate speech,' has been criticized for being open to abuse for censorship.
In April, a 91-year-old man was convicted of hate speech by a Swedish court after he made disparaging comments in a Facebook group about Islam and Muslims, according to local reports.
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The elderly gentleman was found guilty of committing hate crimes following a trial in the municipality of Bromölla in Southern Sweden and may be the eldest Swede ever to be convicted on hate speech charges.
The man reportedly posted a number of comments in a Facebook group with 12,000 members in which he disparaged Muslims, Lokaltidningen reports.
Among the posts, the elderly man commented that Muslims "seem to be inbred," according to court records.
Earlier this week, reports suggested President Donald Trump's forum on social media may happen in the absence of the tech firms they are accusing of censorship and culling free speech.
The event, which is set to launch on July 11, will give people the opportunity to against the companies rather than a peace conference.
But as the event draws closer, social media companies still have refused to comment on whether firms were invited or if they intend to attend.
Facebook's spokesperson Andy Stone declined to comment "on any aspect of it."