How a 'digital army' paid for by French club Paris Saint-Germain smeared its opponents online

France — Investigation

An external agency paid by the Qatari-owned Paris club created an “army” of fake Twitter accounts which then carried out aggressive and foul-mouthed online smear campaigns, in particular against the media and some of the Paris football club's own leading figures. Mediapart and the sports newspaper L’Équipe were among the main targets. This “digital army” even had a go at PSG's French star Kylian Mbappé. Clément Fayol and Yann Philippin report.

Paris court upholds order that Twitter reveal its content moderation

France — Link

A French appeals court has upheld a ruling last July that social media platform Twitter must reveal how its French arm moderates hate speech, in a case brought against it by four NGOs which accuse it of not doing enough to crack down on abusive content.

'Abuser stepfather' case prompts French #Metooinceste wave

France — Link

An outpouring of accounts of incest posted in French on Twitter under the hashtag #Metooinceste was reported this weekend, following the publication of a book in France revealing how high-profile political sciences academic, constitutionalist and media figure Olivier Duhamel sexually abused his stepson, and how the family and friends covered up the scandal.

Twitter suspends French MP for impersonating Donald Trump

France — Link

It is not the first time that South Korean-born MP Joachim Son-Forget has got into trouble for impersonating a politician on the social media platform. 

Miss France runner-up targeted by anti-Semitic posts on Twitter

France — Link

April Benayoum, 21, who in an interview during a televised ceremony of the Miss France pageant on Saturday revealed her mixed family origins which included the Israeli citizenship of her father, became subject to a torrent of anti-Semitic abuse on social media.

French far right leader Le Pen to stand trial over IS tweets

France — Link

Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right Rassemblement national party (formerly the Front national), has been sent for trial for posting images of atrocities carried out by the so-called Islamic State group, under the charge of spreading “violent messages that incite terrorism or pornography or seriously harm human dignity”, which carries a maximum three-year jail sentence.

France’s anti-fake news law fails test over interior minister’s false claims


A newly introduced French law designed to combat the proliferation of false information on social media which may manipulate elections was tested this month for the first time, but not in the manner the government foresaw when it devised the legislation. Two communist politicians lodged a demand, under the articles of the law, for the removal of a message posted on Twitter by French interior minister Christophe Castaner, who falsely claimed that May Day demonstrators had attacked a Paris hospital and its staff. Géraldine Delacroix reports on how they lost their case, but won their demonstration that the law, as they put it, “serves no purpose”.

Trump cites France shootings in call for more US border security

International — Link

In a message he posted on Twitter on Wednesday, US President Donald Trump, currently battling for approval of a budget to beef up immigration barriers with a wall on the US border with Mexico, cited the terrorist shooting spree on Tuesday in Strasbourg to justify a clampdown on migrants, apparently ignorant of the fact that the suspect in the attack was born in the the eastern French city.

French FM tells tweeting Trump: 'leave our nation be'

International — Link

Reacting to a message posted on Twitter by US President Donald Trump, in which he goaded his French counterpart over current social unrest in France, foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said 'I say this to Donald Trump and the French president says it too: leave our nation be'.

French police investigate apparent rape published on social media

France — Link

Police in France have opened an investigation after video images were published on Snapchat and Twitter apparently showing a young woman being raped near a nightclub in the south-west city of Toulouse, and which were blocked after the authorities were alerted by users of the social media.

Former radical-left party candidate hails gendarme's death on Twitter

France — Link

Stéphane Poussier, a parliamentary candidate in elections in 2017 for the radical-left France Insoumise (France Unbowed) party, has been arrested after sending a message via Twitter rejoicing over the death of gendarmerie officer Arnaud Beltrame, who voluntarily took the place of a hostage during Friday's terrorist shootings in south-west France and who subsequently died from gunshot and stab wounds.

French judge opens probe into Marine Le Pen's publication of IS images

France — Link

One showed the decapitated body of Islamic State victim James Foley, which the far-right leader later deleted from her Twitter feed.

Abusers of women online are 'getting away with it' in France


An official body in charge of overseeing sexual equality in France has criticised the way that many people are harassing women online “with impunity”. This is despite the many laws that are available to combat such harassment. The Haut Conseil à l’Égalité entre les Femmes et les Hommes (HCE) points to a trial it carried out in 2017 in which less than 8% of sexist content flagged to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube was taken down. Louise Fessard reports.

The dangers of Macron's planned law on 'fake news'

France — Chronicle

At the start of the New Year President Emmanuel Macron told a gathering of journalists that his government was preparing a new law to clamp down on 'fake news' on social media. But already the French media are wondering whether an attack on 'fake news', however desirable, would not end up damaging freedom of information in general. Hubert Huertas looks at the pitfalls presented by the plan.

French opposition slam Macron's anti-fake-news plans

France — Link

Only authoritarian regimes try to control what the truth is, said one conservative senator while many Twitter users mocked the plan..