President Francois Hollande said Tuesday in Paris the government will present a draft law next month that makes Internet operators “accomplices” of hate-speech offenses if they host extremist messages. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said he will travel to the U.S. to seek help from the heads of Twitter Inc. and Microsoft Corp. as well as Google and Facebook. Spokesmen for the companies did not immediately return requests for comment.
Social media users who persistently spread racial hatred online should be given “internet asbos” blocking them from sites such as Facebook and Twitter, according to an MPs’ report that examines the rising levels of antisemitism in Britain.
The Crown Prosecution Service has been asked by the all-party parliamentary inquiry into antisemitism to examine whether prevention orders, similar to those used to restrict sex offenders’ online access, could be applied to hate crimes.
The MPs suggested the orders could be imposed to bar determined perpetrators from social media.
EDRi obtained documents revealing different drafts of the Code of Conduct against Hate Speech and the correspondence exchanged between the European Commission and the four big companies that concluded the agreement on 31 May 2016: Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft. These documents complement an interesting response sent by Commissioner Jourová to a letter from the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) on 21 June 2016.
German police on Wednesday launched nationwide raids targeting social media users who posted racial hatred on Facebook and other online networks. No arrests were made but computer equipment, cameras and smartphones were seized in the first-ever such mass raids targeting online hate crime.
Just before the upcoming elections in September, the German government seems eager to push through legislation to rein in internet hate speech, fake news, and also legalise state hacks and police searches of computers and mobile phones against suspects of all kinds.
For US Internet corporate giants, Germany has become ground zero in the global regulatory battle on how to deal with hate speech on social media platforms. Facebook’s concern that the draft of a new law currently currently making its way through the German legislative process “would force private companies instead of courts to decide which content is illegal in Germany” is spot on.