France to introduce legislation fining Internet platforms for racist contents

In line with the previously-announced plan of action against hateful content online, France’s Digital Minister, Mounir Mahjoubi, announced that a law strengthening the responsibility of online platforms for not taking down racist and hateful comment will be presented before the French Parliament before summer 2019. This law proposal was also highlighted as necessary by France’ President, Emmanuel Macron, in light of the recent antisemitic episodes that took place in Paris.  On the radio, he declared that such law would entail an obligation on platforms’ means and procedures and an ‘obligation on the results’. This means that one the one hand, platforms will be required to take stronger preventive measures towards hateful and racist content as well as ensure that the internal moderation process is transparent and human-controlled. On the other hand,  online platforms will be punishable by fines if hateful and racist comments are not taken down in a timely manner.