Reporters Without Borders sues Facebook over hate speech
Tuesday, 23 March 2021
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has filed a complaint in France against Facebook for “deceptive commercial practices,” the organisation announced on Tuesday.
The “large-scale proliferation of hate speech and false information on its networks” contradict Facebook’s promises of a safe and error-free online environment, according to RSF.
The complaint targets the subsidiaries Facebook France and Facebook Ireland, through which the group operates in France.
RSF pointed to multiple types of hateful content and other false information that thrive on the network.
Among the evidence provided by RSF to support its complaint are death threats against Charlie Hebdo journalists and the posting of videos such as the documentary “Hold-up,” which is accused of relaying conspiracy theories.
This constitutes a misleading commercial practice under the French consumer code, according to RSF – an offence punishable by a fine of “up to 10% of annual turnover.”
“As Facebook’s terms of service are the same all over the world, a court ruling in France on its deceptive practices has the potential for a global impact. RSF is considering filing similar lawsuits in other countries,” RSF added.