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France to impose fines on tech giants if content not deleted in 1 hour

© Thought Catalog

France has voted in new strict regulations for social media companies that fail to delete harmful content within 1 hour.

A new law which was passed this week will require social media companies and big tech to remove content that is terrorism or paedophile related within 1 hour.

For other sensitive and “manifestly illicit” content, companies will be given a notice of 24 hours to delete the content.

The new law will enforce fines for companies that do not achieve content deletion within these specific times. Companies including Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok are said to be affected by the new law.

France has also appointed a digital prosecutor who will overlook individual cases related to breaches of the new law with a government unit able to observe hate speech online via different social platforms.

The new law toughens the state scrutiny on companies and may lead to much tighter content restrictions in France for people uploading videos and images to platforms such as YouTube or Facebook.

While the aim of the law is to protect citizens and remove harmful content as quickly as possible, the new tough measures may be difficult to implement at scale given the sheer number of images and videos uploaded each day.

Can big tech companies get this right?