Macron faces backlash after hinting ban at social media networks to curb protests

Picture source - Anadolu Agency
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French President Emmanuel Macron has faced a backlash from his opponents after he hinted at banning social media networks to curb mass violent protests.

“We have to think about social media networks, we have to ban them, when things get out of control, we will probably think of controlling or banning them,” Macron told a meeting of mayors.

Emmanuel Macron and his ministers have pointed out that Snapchat, TikTok, Telegram Messenger played a major role in spreading photos and videos of violent protests across the country against the police shooting killing of 17-year-old Nahel M at a traffic stop on June 27.

“When social media becomes a tool to plan or attempt murder, it’s really a big problem,” the president said.

“It’s worrying that when we come to the conclusion that banning social networks is the only solution, ask yourself what point you’ve reached,” Green leader Marine Tundie Lear told Broadcaster Farnas Inter.

Other french right- and left-wing opposition leaders also strongly criticized the proposal. Conservative parliamentary chief Oliver Marlicks also wrote on Twitter that like China, Iran or North Korea, ban social networks, even if it is a provocation to divert attention, then it is a very bad practice.

Emmanuel Macron’s parliamentary colleagues also voiced that cutting off social networks would mean giving up the idea that democracy is stronger than instruments against it, it would be a mistake.

However, Digital Transition Minister Jean-Nile Beirut said there were no plans to ban social media networks.

Instead, the government wants to bring lawmakers together to discuss how to improve the existing social network bill, which is currently under discussion, Cabinet spokesman Oliver Vern said after a meeting of ministers today.