16 May 2016
Over in cyberspace Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are facing legal action as anti-racist and gay rights groups plan to sue the social media giants over an alleged lack of control over hate-speech.
The Jewish Students’ Union (UEJF), the anti-racist SOS Racism campaign and the French SOS Homophobie, have said they plan to take legal action against the social media sites for failing to tackle hate messages.
The three organisations accuse Facebook, Twitter and YouTube of taking more action against nudity than they do about hate messages posted to their platforms.
A study published on Sunday says the groups found 586 items which were “racist, anti-Semitic, negationist or homophobe or condoned terrorism or crimes against humanity” posted between 31 March and 10 May.
Out of the nearly 600 hate messages, as deemed by the organisations, “only four percent were taken down from Twitter, seven percent from YouTube and 34 percent from Facebook”.
“These platforms seem more shocked by bits of naked breasts, which are promptly censored, than by incitements to hatred towards people or groups of people,” said SOS Racisme president Dominique Sopo.
While Facebook ranked the best of the three, taking down 53 our of 156 messages, the three organisations said in reality it “manifests a rigorous application of its rules on pornography”, but does not do the same for hate speech.
“This raises the question of consistency between the community’s standards, based on an American vision of society, and French society and its legal system,” the groups said.