French President Emmanuel Macron stated he is open to “dismantling” social media giants and proposed to end anonymity online as he campaigns in the second round of the French presidential election.
President Macron stated this week that he was open to the idea of dismantling social media giants, claiming they can have a negative effect on society as a whole and that some may be deemed to be monopolies.
“First of all, there is the subject of social networks. Many are now Americans. We must not hesitate to consider the dismantling of those who are in a monopoly situation and regulate,” President Macron said, broadcaster BFMTV reports.
“On social networks, we can kill reputations, spread fake news, push people to suicide,” Macron said and added, “When you read what Mark Zuckerberg thinks for example, or even Elon Musk, who has become a shareholder of Twitter and is a libertarian, you realize that they also have a vision of the world. But the society that emerges in this way is not always democratic.”
New French Prime Minister Opposes Internet Anonymity, Compares Social Networks to Vichy France https://t.co/s1S1AGV6kj
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 18, 2020
On Thursday Mr Musk, who refused to take a seat on the board of Twitter, offered to buy the entire company at a valuation of $54.20 a share, 18 per cent above the closing price of the stock from the previous day.
President Macron went on to note his opposition to the idea of anonymity online as well, saying: “In a democratic society, there should be no anonymity. You can’t walk around the street hooded. On the internet, people allow themselves, because they are hooded behind a nickname, to say the worst, objectionable statements.”
Macron’s current Prime Minister Jean Castex has also spoken out about his opposition to anonymity online, stating in 2020 that anonymity distorts the political debate.
“You can call someone all kinds of names, accuse them of all kinds of vices, by hiding behind pseudonyms. In these conditions, social networks are the Vichy regime: nobody knows who it is!” Castex said.
Macron: France Could Ban Hate Speech Convicts From All Social Media For Life https://t.co/un58vANKpd
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 23, 2019
In 2019, President Macron took aim at those who post “hate” on social media, floating the idea that people convicted of hate speech could be banned from social media platforms for life.
President Macron is currently facing a tight re-election race against his rival, populist Marine Le Pen, in a repeat of the 2017 presidential election.
Current polls put both candidates within just a few percentage points of each other, with one shock poll putting Le Pen slightly ahead of the incumbent French leader.
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