French riots enter discussion on bill regulating hate speech

French riots enter via amendment on banning hateful online speech the discussion on the bill for securing and regulating digital space in France.

French centre-right senator, Patrick Chaize, proposed that hateful online content should be blocked within two hours during riots in an amendment to a French draft law to regulate the digital space. According to the senator, the motivation behind the amendment is to provide law enforcement officers with the means to respond to the rapid mobilisation of rioters who communicate through social media.

Chaize, also the rapporteur for a bill for securing and regulating the digital space, brought the amendment just before the debates in the Senate and amidst already week-long violent protests. Protests were triggered by the police killing a teenager of North African origin. In the proposal, he suggested that when riots threaten to destroy public property, law enforcement prefects should be able to order social media platforms to remove or block hateful, riot-related content within two hours.