France wants legislative framework to hold Google, Facebook ‘accountable’ for hate speech

The French government has reportedly announced plans to hold web companies responsible for hosting any extremist messages that their users may post.

Urging leaders to act at the European and international level, French President Francois Hollande said that he wanted to introduce a legal framework that would make companies like, Google, Facebook “accomplices” in crimes of hate speech if users post content that is deemed “extremist” by the government, reported The Verge.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve plans to travel to discuss the proposal with the heads of Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter. Hollande is expected to present a draft law next month.

The statement is being seen as a reaction to the recent terror attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. It follows a string of anti-terror proposals made by the country recently including, stronger social media surveillance.

“The bullish rhetoric” used by the French politicians in the aftermath of the tragedy has raised fears of a European Patriot Act, much like the legislation enacted by the US after the 9/11 attacks.