A recently-passed law in France — ostensibly to combat propaganda and misinformation — was used by Twitter against the French government’s political campaign to increase voter registration ahead of upcoming European Parliament elections scheduled for May 26.
In December, France passed a law requiring “political campaigns” online to disclose their benefactors. The French state describes the law as “combating the manipulation of information.”
France’s Government Information Service sought to purchase promotional services on Twitter for its #OuiJeVote (Yes, I Vote) campaign. It told AFP: “Twitter does not know how to do that today, and so decided to have a completely hard-line policy, which is to cut any so-called political campaign.”
The French government denies any partisan political dimension to its voter-registration efforts, further rejecting Twitter’ characterization of the operation as a “political campaign.”
Gizmodo reported that Twitter does not know how to incorporate the required disclosure information onto its platform in accordance with the French law:
Just one hitch. According to AFP, Twitter has no idea how to actually incorporate that information onto its platform. So instead of running afoul of the law, Twitter decided to just opt out of French political campaigns altogether.
Several French government officials criticized Twitter for failing to “comply” with government demands.