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”.
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.
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'.
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.
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.
One showed the decapitated body of Islamic State victim James Foley, which the far-right leader later deleted from her Twitter feed.
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.
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.
Only authoritarian regimes try to control what the truth is, said one conservative senator while many Twitter users mocked the plan..
Following the Harvey Weinstein affair, a French journalist has urged women to publish names of men who had sexually harassed them at work.
PM Manuel Valls denounced 'monstrous' picture of beheaded man which far-right leader posted after academic likened Front National to IS.
Le Monde newspaper claims leader of far-right Front National has been using pseudonym Anne Lalanne to tweet to her followers.
Bernard Cazeneuve met the US tech giants in California, asking them to work directly with French authorities to erase online terror propaganda.