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French lawmaker hasn’t given up on her failed hate speech bill, gets ready for another attempt

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Laetitia Avia, Member of Parliament for Paris and a spokesperson for the LREM party, has announced that she will propose a bill in December on a “European scale” to battle “hate” online. Avia has been demanding the passing of strict laws against online “hate speech” and she has also written a note to the Minister of the Interior.

Her previous proposal, which directed the government to impose heavy fines on social media platforms if they don’t remove “hateful” content in 24 hours, had already been rejected over free speech restriction fears.

French politician Marlene Schiappa, who is also the Minister Delegate in charge of Citizenship, has also met the officials and representatives from Big Tech social media platforms and Tik-Tok this Tuesday.

The public assassination of Samuel Paty, a teacher in France, has intensified the focus on hate across online platforms in the country. At least 80 messages that were in support of the assailant were discovered on social media platforms.

When asked whether the public lynching incident, online hatred, and the bill she was proposing were all related, Avia replied by saying: “Yes, it is linked to social networks. Public lynching is almost a fatwa we have on social networks against this teacher. Social media should not be used to undermine someone’s integrity.”

Speaking about the bill she was going to propose on a European level, Avia said that she was working to propose measures with regards to several platforms. She also informed that she was working with the country’s Ministry of the Interior to better identify hateful content, authors spreading such content, and speedy prosecution as well as punishment of them.

“We are also working with the Ministry of the Interior on measures to be able to better identify the authors of hateful content, to prosecute them and to punish them,” said Avia.

Avia also asserts that social media platforms need “real moderation” and that “symbolic condemnations are necessary.

“We need to act on each step of the chain. On the social network side, a framework must be implemented that allows real moderation with the necessary tools, then the public authorities must be able to take over. Symbolic condemnations are necessary.”

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