EU to sanction social media networks that fail to remove posts inciting disobedience, hatred

EU to sanction social media networks that fail to remove posts inciting disobedience, hatred

'Social media platforms have not done enough regarding events in France, and they will need to do more,' says EU commissioner

PARIS (AA) - The European Union will impose sanctions on social media platforms that fail to remove content inciting disobedience and hatred, Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for Internal Market, said Monday.

During an interview with French public broadcaster Franceinfo, Breton spoke about the violent incidents that began after the killing of 17-year-old Nahel M. by police gunfire on June 27 in France.

"Social media platforms have not done enough regarding the events in France, and they will need to do more," Breton said.

Reminding that social media platforms will be subject to the EU's Digital Services Act (DSA) from Aug. 25, he said these platforms will be obliged to immediately remove content inciting hatred, disobedience, calling for someone's murder, or setting vehicles on fire.

Emphasizing that platforms failing to remove such content will face penalties, he said the penalties could include financial sanctions or actions such as terminating their activities in EU territories.

- Digital Services Act

In April, the European Commission announced a list of large digital platforms and search engines operating in Europe that will be subject to stricter rules under the Digital Services Act.

A total of 19 platforms including Facebook and Twitter will be subject to new and stringent obligations under the law.

These platforms will be required to limit disinformation, promptly remove illegal content, better protect minors on the internet, conduct risk assessments, take steps to reduce risks, and be subject to external audits.

Digital platforms that violate the rules may face fines of up to 6% of their global turnover. In case of repeated violations, these platforms may have to cease their activities in the EU.

- Protests in France

Protests erupted after a police officer shot dead Nahel M. during a traffic check in the Parisian suburb of Nanterre after he allegedly ignored orders to stop.

The officer who fired the shot faces a formal investigation for voluntary homicide and has been placed under preliminary detention.

After starting in Nanterre, the protests quickly spread to other cities including Lyon, Toulouse, Lille and Marseille.

Tensions rose following clashes between the police and protesters before losing steam this week.

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