France has introduced a new law to protect children from online dangers. The law, which came into effect in February 2021, requires online platforms to remove illegal content within 24 hours and content harmful to minors within seven days of being reported. The notification may be made by an individual or an authorized public entity. The law also requires companies to provide a clear and easy-to-use tool for reporting harmful content, according to The European Conservative.
The law aims to combat a range of online threats, including cyberbullying, hate speech, and the sexualization of children. Companies that do not comply with the law can be fined up to 4% of their global sales.
The new legislation is part of a larger push by French authorities to protect children from online harm. In 2019, the French government launched a national campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of the internet and promote responsible online behavior.
The introduction of the new legislation was welcomed by child protection advocates. However, some critics have raised concerns about the potential impact on free speech. They argue that the broad definition of harmful content could be used to suppress legitimate expression.
Despite these concerns, the French government has stressed that the legislation is necessary to protect children from the dangers of the internet. French Justice Minister Éric Dupond-Moretti said, “We cannot allow the internet to be a place of impunity where the most reprehensible crimes can be committed.”