France says that regardless of a last-minute delay, social networks in the US including Facebook and Snapchat will still be compelled to sign a pledge to fight online hate speech.
France is hosting the G7 summit, an international intergovernmental economic organisation consisting of the seven largest IMF described advanced economies-Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. According to the official program scheduled to take place in Biarritz in France, the host had planned to make social networks to sign a “Charter for an Open, Free and Safe internet” on Friday.
However, the proposed meeting did not take place and it was aired over the Europe 1 radio that President Donald Trump had mounted a pressure on the executives to abort the mission of making them companies sign publicly. Washington denied mounting such pressures.
The Junior minister for the digital industry on Saturday cleared the air about the delay and assured that signing the pledge will take place on Monday.
“The initial idea was to make the platforms come to Biarritz and until now, the United States was against the signature of this pledge. Diplomatically, it was sensitive to make US platforms come to Biarritz and sign something while the American president wasn’t there,” Cedric told reporters, adding that Facebook and Google were among the platforms due to sign the pledge.
Cedric O assured that signing the pledge by US-based social media giants was a guarantee and that there was no need for pressure. “There’s no doubt on the fact that the social networks will sign the pledge,” he said.
Nevertheless, it’s a contrary opinion in Washington. In senior official of the Trump led administration objected France’s stance that the US government had a say on the initiative and denied been under pressure to sign the pledge.
“There certainly was no pressure from us. We heard from a couple of companies that they felt bullied by France to join.”
The official told Reuters that Washington was still reviewing the initiative. “It certainly has its merits,” he said.
The French G7 presidency told Reuters that the charter seeks to create a movement that can drive a campaign to guarantee transparency, safety and the positive use of the internet. With a widespread record of missteps that have facilitated the spread of hate speech and genocide, the charter aims to widen the scope of commitments made by the social media giants in terms responding quickly to taking down contents, moderating contents, and ensuring transparency with users’ data.