France Will Debate a Bill to Stop Online Hate Speech. What’s at Stake?

Source: The New York Times

By Aurelien Breeden

The plan, which is up for discussion in Parliament this week, would make it mandatory for online platforms to remove hateful content in less than 24 hours. Critics worry about censorship.

The lower house of the French Parliament will start debating a bill on online hate speech and harassment this week.CreditLudovic Marin/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

PARIS — The French Parliament will start debating a bill on online hate speech and harassment on Wednesday, as countries around the world grapple with the question of what content is acceptable online and how to regulate huge technological platforms with a global reach.

In France, laws regulating free speech are generally more restrictive than in the United States, and rules against violence or hate speech already exist.

But the authorities say that the law needs to catch up with tech platforms. In an op-ed published this month in the newspaper Le Monde, a group of government ministers said that while social networks had created a “new horizon for socializing and exchanging,” they had also shown humanity’s “darkest sides.”

Here is what you need to know about the proposal.

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