Friday, December 23, 2016

France Considers Ways to Deal With Problematic Online Content, While Preserving Free Speech

Two French senators have introduced an initiative aimed at creating an ombudsman to make rulings on whether online material is inappropriate and should be removed, while at the same time aiming to preserve free speech.

“There is a lot of content freely accessible,” Senator Nathalie Goulet said during a meeting to discuss the plan, “Some is about radicalization and other about pedophilia. Who decides when content is legal or not?”

Goulet and another senator, Olivier Cadic, are promoting legislation which, if adopted by parliament after presidential elections next year, aims to help internet service providers, web hosting and social media companies to determine whether the content they publish is legal or not.

The proposal is for an ombudsman to be appointed for a six-year period from among members of an independent administrative regulatory body that is tasked with ensuring that data privacy law is applied to the collection, storage, and use of personal data.

Internet companies will be encouraged to seek the ombudsman’s opinion when in doubt about material to be published.

A company that wants to consult the ombudsman will have to get in touch by email or regular mail, asking about the content in question.

The ombudsman, who may work with a translator if the material is in another language, will provide an opinion in a maximum of seven days. The response will be based on the law but will be an opinion only, with no obligation that it must be followed.

Audrey Herblin-Stoop, head of public policy at Twitter France, acknowledged that “terrorist organizations use our platform to spread terrorist messages” and attempt to brainwash people.

She told the meeting that Twitter has blocked 260,000 “terrorist accounts.”

Google France welcomed the ombudsman proposal.

“It is a hard work to find illicit content quickly and get rid of it,” said Thibault Guiroy, the company’s public policy manager and head of government relations.



Stan B said...

"The response will be based on the law but will be an opinion only, with no obligation that it must be followed."

And may very well be the opinion colored by the political, religious, or cultural bias of the person giving it. But hey, it's better than nothing, RIGHT?

Bird of Paradise said...

France made the big mistake opening their counties borders and allowing for the so called refugees to enter their nation from the middle eastand in fact all of Europe is making the same mistake and their people will suffer and thats why we need to oppose the North American(Soviet)Union as planned by the Useless Nations and the sinister CFR

Anonymous said...

Either speech is free to espouse or it is subject to censorship, there is no in-between. Either you allow all speech and redress is through the public forum as a healthy society and everyone knows who is objectionable and should not be elected or you censor free speech and drive it underground. The whole free speech issue is driven by the left to force conservatives out of the public place hence the backlash with the election of Donald Trump. The next stage of speech repression will involve civil war. Something that the left should give serious thought to. If you keep repressing speech in the name of human rights you will push up against a wall that will not fall. All lives matter. If that statement is to simple for those that back criminals then so be it. If you do not wish to be a causality of the police then don't commit a crime. If asked, comply with police instructions then redress the situation later in a calm state of mind. Race is not the issue, criminality is.

Anonymous said...

An ombudsman appointed by an independent body (appointed by the political party in power) lots of luck with that. Just look at the so called independent bodies around you starting with the Supreme Court, the FEC and the FCC. The list is endless.