Macron and Zuckerberg face the headache of moderation

How "reciviliser Internet"? Emmanuel Macron and Mark Zuckerberg both have their idea on the question. The CEO of Facebook, met Friday afternoon the French pre

Macron and Zuckerberg face the headache of moderation

How "reciviliser Internet"? Emmanuel Macron and Mark Zuckerberg both have their idea on the question. The CEO of Facebook, met Friday afternoon the French president. The programme of discussions that have lasted more than an hour: taking stock of a unique collaboration between the social network and the French government, which sent a group of experts examine the way in which Facebook is moderating the online content, and discuss projects for current regulation in France on this topic.

The moderation online is a complex subject for the social network as to the French government. Last year, Emmanuel Macron was committed to fight against the torrent of hatred dumped online". He has promised the forthcoming review of legislation to increase the accountability of large online platforms with the proliferation of content that is hateful, racist or anti-semitic. It is the member LREM Laetitia Avia, already co-author of a report on the moderation line, which should present the text to Parliament before the summer. She wishes to put in place an obligation of response in less than 24 hours for the social networks in the event of an alert of a content that is manifestly illegal. This measure, directly inspired by German law applied from 2018, is not seen favourably by Facebook and other large platforms, who consider it unrealistic and too restrictive. On Friday, Mark Zuckerberg explained to Emmanuel Macron that regulators were too focused on the withdrawal of content problematic, while its priority was to reduce the viral marketing for the least amount of people possible are exposed, for example by preventing their division or lower their place in the news feed via a change of algorithm, according to a source close to the Elysée palace.

Approach of the european

The issue of the delay should be central to the discussions in French on the moderation. This measure is a flagship project of Laetitia Avia has not been taken up by the report released Friday by the group of experts, led by Benoît Loutrel, who were able to access the european headquarters of the social network to Dublin and visit a center of moderation of Facebook in Barcelona. The latter puts more emphasis on an approach of responsibility of the major platforms a priori, rather than penalizing their erreursa a posteriori.

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For its part, the government ensures that the issue is not yet settled, and that the project of Laetitia Avia could still be modified in order to find the most effective solutions. The question also arises as, delicate, Europe. If some countries, such as Germany, have adopted a strict approach to moderation online, to other members of the european Union advocate for more flexibility by, for example, the difference between the treatment of reports of content issues from the police and from internet users to lambda. The european Commission has presented a draft regulation on the withdrawal of the content to be of terrorist nature, with a requirement of response a lot shorter of a time, which should be discussed in trilogue after the european elections. Europe is finally another work with platforms of volunteers, including Facebook, on a code of good conduct with respect to the moderation of the content of hate.

"there are always topics on which we disagree, and this is normal"

Mark Zuckerberg

in the Face of all these initiatives, Facebook hopes the rules common to all european countries. The social network wants to especially the least responsibility as possible on the subject, leaving to the various authorities to determine what is, or is not, a problematic content and the manner in which it should dispose of it. "There are always topics on which we will disagree, and that is normal, said Mark Zuckerberg during a conference organised just after his conversation with Emmanuel Macron. I have good hope [for the French approach on the moderation] could become a model for the european Union."

The social network should also participate in other projects carried out by the French government, including a charter to be discussed at the next G7 on the content that is hateful, and "the appeal of Christchurch", a commitment to better moderate the terrorist propaganda online. The latter refers to a terrorist attack in New Zealand, where a terrorist of the far-right was able to broadcast live on Facebook for the massacre of fifty people in mosques without a moderator, not to interrupt its live-time.

Updated Date: 12 May 2019, 00:00

Kathleen Lees


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