Digital Marketing

Online hate, disinformation: an NGO files a complaint against Facebook

This complaint was filed Monday with the public prosecutor of Paris, said RSF in a statement.

LThe NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF) announced on Tuesday the filing of a complaint in France against Facebook for “deceptive commercial practices”, arguing that the “massive proliferation” of hate messages and other false information on the social network violates commitments of the platform towards Internet users.

This complaint was filed Monday with the public prosecutor of Paris, said RSF in a statement. It is based, according to the organization for the defense of press freedom, on “the manifest contradiction between the commitments of the social network vis-à-vis consumers and the reality of its operation”.

The complaint, consulted by AFP, targets the subsidiaries Facebook France and Facebook Ireland, through which the group operates in France.

False allegations

RSF intends to demonstrate that the commitments of the American group, appearing in particular in its general conditions of use, “are largely based on false allegations: while the platform undertakes to act to maintain” a safe and error-free environment “, association points to multiple types of hateful content and other fake news that thrive on the network.

Among the evidence provided by RSF in support of its complaint are death threats against Charlie Hebdo journalists or the posting of videos such as the documentary “Hold Up” accused of relaying conspiratorial theses.

For the NGO, this constitutes, within the meaning of the French consumer code, a “deceptive commercial practice”, an offense punishable by a fine “which can reach 10% of the average annual turnover”.

RSF adds that “the conditions of service of Facebook being the same everywhere on the planet, a court decision in France on their misleading nature could have a global impact”, and said to also study “the filing of similar complaints in other country ”.

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