Ophélie Artaud 11:11 am, July 07, 2023

Social media played an amplifying role in the riots that hit the France after Nahel's death. Since then, the government has been considering restricting some of their functionality in the event of further urban violence. Invited by "Culture Media", the Minister of Economy and Digital Sovereignty Bruno Le Maire assures him: "we must sanction" the drifts.

Should access to social networks be cut off punctually in the event of urban violence? The proposal, put forward by Emmanuel Macron after the riots that affected many municipalities, has made a lot of talk. The government quickly clarified the head of state's remarks, saying it was considering "suspending features". After the death of Nahel, 17, killed by a police officer in Nanterre after refusing to comply, social networks played an amplifying role.

Dozens of videos of the scenes of violence were accessible live and in a few clicks, and geolocation systems "could allow young people to find themselves in such a place, showing scenes, how to set fire etc ... It is calls to the organization of hatred in the public space, "had denounced Olivier Véran.

"Social networks can't be the jungle"

Invited this Friday morning by Culture Media, the Minister of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, Bruno Le Maire, returned to the possibility of restricting the functionality of social networks in case of riots.

And according to him, the goal is to "prevent networks from turning into communities of hate". "This is what we saw for several days in France and it is totally unacceptable because it serves as a relay for hatred to burn businesses, to loot traders, all this is totally unacceptable. So in this case, it is necessary to suspend the activity of the account, "says Bruno Le Maire at the microphone of Philippe Vandel.

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In addition to the possible suspension of accounts, Bruno Le Maire advances the possibility of "going up IP addresses, as the Minister of Justice said. You cannot do anything, call for looting without being able to find you via your IP address, that we can find you and then punish and punish you. Social networks can't be the jungle," he insists.

"These dematerialized calls to hatred are translated very concretely"

There is also the responsibility of the platforms, and the possibility for the State to collaborate with them. A collaboration that already exists, assures Bruno Le Maire. "During the days of riots that we have known, when it was necessary to suspend, stop messages, the platforms played the game," says the Minister of Digital Sovereignty. "When there are calls for hatred, calls for violence, it is obvious that we must be able to find the perpetrators of these calls for hatred and violence and punish them.

This is what the Minister of Justice has committed himself to. He banged his fist on the table, rightly, to say that you can't do anything and everything on social networks under the pretext that it's dematerialized. Because these dematerialized calls to hatred result very concretely in fires, businesses that burn or schools that are burned, it is totally unacceptable, "says Bruno Le Maire.

For the Minister of the Economy, the problem is not social networks, but the use that can be made of them. "If you exchange ideas, photos, travel impressions, no worries. If you use it to say 'go at such and such a time, at such and such a place to go and burn down the town hall', then that's a problem. You must be prosecuted and punished, "concludes Bruno Le Maire at the microphone of Culture Media.