Facebook To Start Handing User Info To French Government So It Can Start Punishing People For Being Stupid
from the terrorism-equations-DRINK! dept
In a move that’s indicative of the tech companies’ newfound willingness to roll over for overseas governments, Facebook will be handing user data to the French government to help it chase down people who’ve posted illegal words.
In a world first, Facebook has agreed to hand over the identification data of French users suspected of hate speech on its platform to judges, France’s minister for digital affairs Cedric O said on Tuesday.
France has criminalized hate speech, building on legislation that worked out oh so well in Germany. Facebook has already allowed French government censors to embed with the company’s moderation teams. Facebook.gov is no one’s idea of a better world, but there was always a chance French regulators might actually learn something from the experience: namely, that moderating content at scale isn’t easy and tends to cause collateral damage if performed the way multiple governments would prefer.
It appears little has been learned. Mark Zuckerberg’s recent meeting with France’s president may have little to with this, but Facebook has been historically cooperative with other demands from the French government. However, previous cooperation generally concerned terrorism investigations, not people engaging in criminalized ignorance.
The French government naturally seems pleased with Facebook’s decision to deliver hateful users into the hands of authorities.
“This is huge news, it means that the judicial process will be able to run normally,” O told Reuters in an interview. “It’s really very important, they’re only doing it for France.”
By “normally,” O means “efficiently.” Government efficiency is the enemy of rights and civil liberties. US companies are doing no favor for users around the world by speeding up dubious prosecutions of questionable laws. While it’s natural to curry favor with the only entities powerful enough to make Facebook pay attention. It’s not just about user bases. It’s about locking smaller competitors into restrictive compliance regimes that they may not be able to handle.
But this isn’t the only stupid thing going on here. Supporters of Facebook’s generous kowtowing are letting dumb fall right out of their mouths and onto the pages of Reuters.
“It is a strong signal in terms of regulation,” said Sonia Cisse, a counsel at law firm Linklaters, adding that it was a world first. “Hate speech is no longer considered part of freedom of speech, it’s now on the same level as terrorism.”
What the actual fuck. Ignorant people saying ignorant things is not even close to equivalent of violent acts that kill and maim people just because they don’t agree with the terrorists or, worse, just because they’re there. While I understand that France’s protections for speech are not on par with the First Amendment, equating hate speech with terrorism is stupid and will end up costing stupid people their freedom, even if they’ve done nothing more than let everyone else know how stupid they are.