Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called France's proposed regulations against Facebook a good thing.
Zuckerberg visited France to show that Facebook is working hard to limit violent extremism and hate speech shared online. Zuckerberg’s visit came amid concerns about hate speech and disinformation around this month’s May 23-26 European Parliament elections.
But a group of French regulators and experts say the company still isn’t working hard enough on that front and governments need to step in. The French officials released a report on Friday calling for laws allowing the French government to investigate and fine social networks that don’t take responsibility for the content that makes them money. The regulators recommended legally requiring a “duty of care” for big social networks, meaning they should moderate hate speech published on their platforms. The regulators say any new law should respect freedom of expression, but did not explain how Facebook should balance those responsibilities in practice.
The French government wants the legislation to serve as a model for a Europe-wide management of social networks.
“We can make progress on enforcing the rules, but at some level the question of what speech should be acceptable and what is harmful needs to be defined by regulation, by thoughtful governments that have a robust democratic process,” Zuckerberg told reporters after meeting with Macron at the Elysee presidential palace.
The ideas about better regulation stemmed from a pilot project between Facebook and France, and Zuckerberg said he’s “encouraged and optimistic” about the result.