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On May 13, France’s @AssembleeNat will vote on a proposed hate speech law that could harm both people’s right to freedom of expression and access to knowledge not just in France, but in diverse communities across Europe and the globe. #LoiAvia #CyberHaine (1/11) ⬇️
Despite its good intent, we are concerned that the proposal, the #LoiAvia, will require platforms to remove suspected hate speech within 24 hours of receiving a complaint. Such a short time for removal makes them the ultimate arbiters of what constitutes hate speech. (2/11)
For certain content, the bill reduces removal times to just one hour. Short removal periods with steep penalties will lead to the problematic use of automated means to scan or filter content across large parts of the internet.… (3/11)
Importantly, automated scans or filters often already fail to consider both nuance and context when determining if content should be removed, which may apply to hate speech as well. (4/11)…
Short removal times and large fines for non-compliance further incentivize platforms to over-remove content. And they can lead to targeted campaigns against underrepresented voices. (5/11)…
The proposed law could silence such voices. Although counter-notice provisions in the law could allow content to be reinstated eventually, the harm from censorship is likely to have already occurred. (6/11)
By forcing platforms to instantly interpret the legality of content rather than the courts, this law has the potential to harm free expression online as guaranteed in Article 10 of the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights. (7/11)
The law also appears to follow a disturbing trend of national laws exhibiting substantial extraterritorial effects. It could negatively affect users of French Wikipedia outside France, for instance, which is an important source of knowledge for French-speakers everywhere. (8/11)
Extraterritorial effects mean that one country will require citizens of another country to obey its laws in some way. In this law’s case, that could mean speech that’s acceptable in one place could still be removed if it’s considered hate speech under France’s standards. (9/11)
National laws combating harmful content online can negatively affect what information is accessible in other countries, even where it may be legal. This excludes a large population from deciding what knowledge is available on French Wikipedia. cc: @Wikimedia_Fr (10/11)
France’s proposed hate speech law could negatively affect fundamental online freedoms that are essential for operating a community-driven public interest project like @Wikipedia. We urge @AssembleeNat to consider these effects when they vote on May 13. #LoiAvia (11/11)
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