The American academic Sarah T. Roberts explains that social media networks have become popular by posing as supporters of freedom of expression with no limits. But, she argues, this promise has in fact never been kept and instead content moderation has become a globalised industry. Medapart's Géraldine Delacroix spoke to Sarah T. Roberts ahead of a seminar in Paris on digital culture.
Facebook is a continent beyond whose frontiers nothing else exists; the barrier between those who are on and not on Facebook is virtually insurmountable ... Mediapart's film critic Emmanuel Burdeau, who turned off his Facebook account for a period, gives his personal reflections on the social media platform and how its presence is changing the very nature of how we discuss things.
The French Parliament this week formally adopted a new anti-terrorism law, part of which aims to stop terrorists using the internet to attract recruits and plot attacks. It will allow the authorities to block websites that “condone terrorism” and will create a new offence of “individual terrorist enterprise”. One key objective is to stop the “preparation” of attacks via the web. The government, which has rushed these measures through, says they are needed to combat the growing use of the internet and social media by terror groups and in particular to tackle the threat of so-called “lone wolf” terrorists operating in France and elsewhere. But civil liberties groups, judges and the state body that oversees the impact of digital technology have condemned the law as an attack on freedom, ineffective and unworkable. Jérôme Hourdeaux details the new measures.
The hacker, IT specialist and journalist Olivier Laurelli has been ordered to pay a 3,000-euro fine for downloading files from a government agency that he found by chance during a routine internet search. The court of appeal in Paris ruled he was guilty of 'theft' and fraudulently remaining inside an unauthorised computer system. Apart from the disturbing implications for all journalists and internet users of the verdict, the court case also highlights the worrying lack of knowledge among judges who appeared not to know what 'Google' or 'login' were. Jérôme Hourdeaux reports.
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