Facebook offers to hand hate speech suspect data to French courts

Facebook offers to hand hate speech suspect data to French courts
© Getty Images

Facebook will provide French courts with data identifying suspected hate speech on its platform. 

France's minister of digital affairs Cedric O told Reuters Tuesday the deal was reached following a meeting he had last week with Nick Clegg, Facebook's head of global affairs. 

It is the first deal of it's kind the social media platform has made, according to Reuters. 

Facebook has refrained from handing over such data in the past and is not compelled to do so under U.S. or French legal conventions.


“This is huge news, it means that the judicial process will be able to run normally. It’s really very important, they’re only doing it for France," O told Reuters. 

"As a matter of course, we will no longer refer French law enforcement authorities to the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty process to request basic information in criminal hate speech cases," a Facebook spokesperson said in an email to The Hill. "However, as we do with all court orders for information, even in the US, we will scrutinize every order we receive and push back if is overbroad, inconsistent with human rights, or legally defective.”

The deal comes after meetings between Facebook founder Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergConservatives seize on New York Post story to push Section 230 reform Hillicon Valley: Trump refuses to condemn QAnon | Twitter revises its policy, lets users share disputed article | Google sees foreign cyber threats Chairman: Senate Judiciary to vote on subpoena for Mark Zuckerberg MORE and French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronFrench high school teacher decapitated in possible terrorist attack France sets one-day record with more than 30,000 new COVID-19 cases French ministers' homes searched in probe of response to virus MORE, according to Reuters.

—Updated at 2:58 p.m.