Creating a French Framework to make social media platforms more accountable: Acting in France with a European vision

Government policy documents


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Published date: May 1, 2019

Author: Inter-ministrial team - Culture, Interior, Justice, Economy, Prime Ministerial services, DILCRAH, DINSIC, ARCEP, and CSA

Country: France

Legislation status: Policy proposal

Subject tag: Data Access | Government transparency | Terrorism and violent extremism

‘Social networks allow any member of society to publish any content they wish and share it with other users of the network. They are thereby revolutionising the media industry and communications by offering individuals and civil society a direct means of expression. It is no longer necessary to use conventional media to communicate publicly. Using social networks therefore considerably increases individuals’ ability to exercise their freedom of expression, communicate and obtain information. Nevertheless, the opportunities offered by social networking services can lead to unacceptable abuses of those same freedoms. These abuses are being committed by isolated individuals or organised groups to which the leading social networks – including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Snap, to cite just the largest– are not providing an adequate response. Yet through their ordering of published content and moderation policies, social networks have the ability to take direct action against the worst abuses to prevent or respond to them and thereby limit the damage to social cohesion.
Public intervention to force the biggest players to assume a more responsible and protective attitude to our social cohesion therefore appears legitimate. Given the civil liberty issues at stake, this intervention should be subject to particular precautions. It must (1) respect the wide range of social network models, which are particularly diverse, (2) impose a principle of transparency and systematic inclusion of civil society, (3) aim for a minimum level of intervention in accordance with the principles of necessity and proportionality and(4) refer to the courts for the characterisation of the lawfulness of individual content.
[This entry was sourced with minor edits from the Carnegie Endowment’s Partnership for Countering Influence Operations and its baseline datasets initiative. You can find more information here:]