Macron launches an international “laboratory”

Pornography, harassment, online violence … Emmanuel Macron launched an “online child protection laboratory” in Paris on Thursday, bringing together platforms, NGOs, regulators and other international actors.

This workshop was launched during a meeting at the Elysée with non-governmental organizations and representatives of the main digital platforms and search engines (Meta, Microsoft, Google, TikTok, etc.), on the occasion of the Paris Peace Forum. The Argentine presidents Alberto Fernandez and the Estonian president Alar Karis also participated in the launch of this initiative.

“The digital space cannot be a place of illegality”

On this occasion, the French president challenged the new owner of Twitter, Elon Musk, to ask him to join the initiative. “@Elonmusk, will the bird protect our children? “(“ Will the bird protect our children? ”), Tweeted the head of state referring to the famous logo of the social network in the shape of a blue bird. “Absolutely,” the Twitter boss replied in French this Friday. “We will act in this sense”, he also wrote in English.

This laboratory must identify “good ways to better regulate and protect our children online”, underlined the Head of State, together with his wife Brigitte, also mobilized on the subject. “The digital space cannot be a place of illegality. It is the fight we have waged against terrorism, which we are waging against hate speech online. This is what we must pursue in terms of the protection of our children, “said Emmanuel Macron at the beginning of the round table.

“Act quickly and in a coordinated way across multiple digital platforms”

“Protecting our children online means better verifying the age of users, better detecting and stopping sexual predators, better detecting and responding to harassment, being more effective at removing content,” he said on Twitter. In particular, it will be necessary to see how to act “in a rapid and coordinated way between the multiple digital platforms to remove child pornography or intimate content disseminated without the consent of minors and their families”, she insisted.

This initiative is modeled on the Christchurch Appeal against violent online extremism, launched by New Zealand and France following the 2019 murders that resulted in 51 deaths in two mosques in this New Zealand location. The images taken by the perpetrator of the massacre were then available online for several hours. The call helped reform the Global Internet Forum Against Terrorism (GIFCT), to speed up the removal of images during a crisis.

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