So no, Facebook won’t be handing over ID data for hate speech cases in the U. S. —the First Amendment provides strong free speech protections and hate speech has no legal definition under U. S. law. (France’s laws on hate speech are, in contrast, far more restrictive. ) The agreement with France is definitely precedent-setting in a public-pressure sense, however, and you can bet other platforms, including YouTube and Twitter, will be watching how this all shakes out.
After several meetings between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and French President Emmanuel Macron, the social media giant has agreed to give French courts identification data of users suspected of hate speech, according to Reuters.
O was nominated as minister in March, and since then he has been busy making hate speech a top priority for the French government. “This is huge news, it means that the judicial process will be able to run normally,” O told Reuters. “It’s really very important, they’re only doing it for France.
Though it claimed artificial intelligence was good enough to catch 99 percent of spam, terrorist propaganda, and child exploitation content before users reported it, less than two-thirds of user-reported hate speech on the platform received proper treatment. (That said, it’s still easy to find hate groups on Facebook.
Reuters reports Facebook had been hesitant about handing over identifying data with regard to hate speech for two reasons.
Marky Z and French President Emmanuel Macron talking about hate speech last month at the Elysee Palace.
France just scored what it’s characterizing as a major victory in the battle to curb online hate speech—one that potentially carries significant implications for privacy and free speech online.
For its part, Facebook last month teased a pilot program of human moderators to zero-in on hate speech on the platform.
Last year, Twitter introduced a new ban on ‘dehumanizing speech,’ but a Twitter executive also just said in an interview that what many users find abusive doesn’t necessarily violate its hate speech policies.