Bokhari: France Is on a Mission to Kill Free Speech Online

French President Emmanuel Macron arrives for a speech at the European Parliament on April 17, 2018 in the eastern French city of Strasbourg. - Macron addresses the European Parliament for the first time in a bid to shore up support for his ambitious plans for post-Brexit reforms of the EU. …
FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty

France, still run by embattled globalist president Emmanuel Macron, is debating a draconian new law that would impose massive fines on social media and search engine companies if they fail to take down “hate speech” within 24 hours.

Company officials at Facebook and other social media platforms could face up to a year in prison in France if they fail to remove so-called hate speech under the proposed law. The companies themselves could face fines of up to 4 percent of their global revenues — a colossal sum — for repeated violations.

Individual users who abuse the “report” function on social media platforms could also face fines and jail time.

Via NYT:

If platforms refuse to remove such content, they could face fines of 1.25 million euros, or about $1.4 million. Company officials could face a year in prison and fines of up to €250,000.

Repeated violations could prompt France’s media watchdog to impose fines of up to 4 percent of the company’s global revenue — meaning, potentially, tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars.

The bill also creates penalties — a €15,000 fine and up to a year in prison — for individuals who abuse reporting mechanisms.

France is following the lead of Germany in this regard. The pro-censorship, pro-mass migrant regime of Angela Merkel passed a law last year imposing fines of 50 million euros ($62 million) on companies that fail to remove hate speech within 24 hours.

It’s another sign that western governments are increasingly behaving like China, where the government leans on private corporations to enact censorship and protect the ruling regime.

Writing on The Hilllaw professor Jonathan Turley notes that these European laws could accelerate social media censorship in the United States:

The move by the Europeans hits in the blind spot of the United States Constitution. The First Amendment does an excellent job of preventing government action against free speech, and most of the laws curtailing free speech in Europe would be unconstitutional in the United States. However, although protected against Big Brother, we are left completely vulnerable to Little Brother, made up of the private companies that have wide discretion on curtailing and controlling speech around the world.

Europeans know these companies are quite unlikely to surgically remove content for individual countries. The effect will be similar to the “California Exception.” All states are subject to uniform vehicle emissions standards under the Clean Air Act, but California was given an exception to establish more stringent standards. Rather than create special cars for California, the more stringent standards tend to drive car designs. When it comes to speech controls, Europeans know they can limit speech not only in their countries but practically limit speech in the United States and elsewhere.

Thanks to leaked documents obtained and published by Breitbart News last year, its known that Google’s own researchers admit that the company and other Silicon Valley tech giants are “shifting toward censorship.” The leaked documents also note that one of the factors driving this change in policy is pressure from foreign countries.

But it seems those foreign countries aren’t just the usual suspects (Turkey, Russia, Pakistan, China, etc.). In Europe too, the very birthplace of liberalism and the enlightenment, powerful forces are moving to crush online free speech.

Are you an employee at Google, Twitter, Facebook or any other corporation who can obtain information about political bias within your company? Reach out to Allum Bokhari confidentially at allumbokhari@protonmail.com.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.

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