Macron: EU to develop regulation to fight hate on social networks

French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during a press conference on France assuming the Presidency of the EU, in Paris, France, December 9, 2021. Ludovic Marin / Pool via REUTERS

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PARIS, Dec. 9 (Reuters) – The European Union will work towards unprecedented regulation of social media platforms that will establish accountability for hate content, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday.

France takes over the rotating presidency of the 27-country European Council in January as the EU discusses new legislation defining the dos and don’ts for global tech companies.

“This is an unprecedented European regulation to fight against online hatred, to define the responsibility of these large platforms for their content,” Macron said at a press conference in Paris.

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“Every day we have to deal with issues such as anti-Semitism, racism, hate speech and online harassment. Today there are no international regulations on these subjects per se.”

EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager has proposed two sets of rules known as the Digital Markets Act and the Digital Services Act targeting Amazon (AMZN.O), Apple (AAPL.O), the Alphabet unit (GOOGL.O) Google and Facebook (FB .O).

The digital services law in particular would force tech giants to do more to tackle illegal content on their platforms, with fines of up to 6% of global revenue for non-compliance.

The European Commission will launch negotiations with EU countries and EU lawmakers next year, with new rules due in 2023.

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Report by Tassilo Hummel, additional report by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Silvia Aloisi and Mark Heinrich

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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