Facebook will be turning over the data of French hate speech suspects to authorities, Reuters reported today.
“This is huge news, it means that the judicial process will be able to run normally,” Cedric O, France’s minister for digital affairs said today, “It’s really very important, they’re only doing it for France.”
At the moment, Facebook currently hands over data like IP addresses and other identifying information for terrorism suspects, but now the firm has extended it to hate speech suspects. France’s government has always wanted to regulate hate speech and disinformation which run rife on the internet, and Facebook has just given it the means to do so more effectively.
The move came after a series of meetings between Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Nick Clegg with France’s Emmanuel Macron and Cedric O.
While some may argue about the vagaries of who defines what is hate speech, France already has a robust legal system in place for dealing with such issues. What’s more interesting is that Facebook is being more cooperative with governments, opening the door to further regulation in light of its privacy abuses over the past year.