Online hate, disinformation: RSF files a complaint against Facebook in France
RSF intends to demonstrate that the commitments of the American group, appearing in particular in its general conditions of use, "are largely based on false allegations".
REUTERS - Dado Ruvic
Text by: RFI Follow
The NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF) announced on Tuesday to file a complaint in France against Facebook for “
deceptive commercial practices
Despite its promises of moderation of content, the massive proliferation of hate messages against journalists and the profusion of false information on the social network, have led us to file a complaint with the public prosecutor of Paris,
" said RSF.
The NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF) announced on Tuesday the filing of a complaint in France against Facebook for "
deceptive commercial practices
", arguing that the "
" of hate messages and other false information on the social network violates the commitments of the platform to Internet users.
was filed Monday with the public prosecutor of Paris.
It is based, according to the organization for the defense of press freedom, on "
the manifest contradiction between the commitments of the social network vis-à-vis consumers and the reality of its operation
Reporters Without Borders intends to demonstrate that the commitments of the American group, appearing in particular in its general conditions of use, "
are largely based on false allegations
": while the platform undertakes to act to "
maintain a safe and error-free environment
" , the association points to multiple types of hateful content and other fake news that thrive on the network.
Facebook is committed in its terms of service to maintain a safe and error-free environment for its consumers [...] The problem is, Facebook is anything but safe and error-free.
Pauline Adès-Mevel, spokesperson for Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
The complaint targets the subsidiaries Facebook France and Facebook Ireland, through which the group operates in France.
Among the evidence provided by RSF in support of its complaint are death threats against
or the posting of videos such as the documentary "Hold Up", accused of relaying conspiratorial theses.
For the NGO, this constitutes, within the meaning of the French consumer code, a “
deceptive commercial practice
”, an offense punishable by a fine “
which can reach 10% of the average annual turnover
RSF adds that "
the conditions of service of Facebook being the same everywhere on the planet, a court decision in France on their misleading nature could have a global impact",
and said to also study
"the filing of similar complaints in other country
Facebook has not commented on this ad.
However, several leaders of the group have publicly recalled in recent weeks the multiple efforts made by the network to fight against online violence and disinformation.
Several complaints have been launched in recent months against social networks in France.
In early March, fourteen feminist activists took Facebook to court, accusing its Instagram subsidiary of censoring some of their posts, while letting users harass them with impunity.
🔴RSF files a complaint against @Facebook about the massive proliferation of online hate and fake news.
In question, the obvious contradiction between the commitments of the social network vis-à-vis consumers and the reality of its functioning https://t.co/0GmjjnDpox pic.twitter.com/fhXsG06yPH
- RSF (@RSF_inter) March 23, 2021
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