EU declares war on Facebook! Commissioner threatens fine worth billions

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French EU Commissioner Thierry Breton has unveiled a tougher approach to the social network – which recently rebranded itself “Meta”. He vowed that hate speech would be “deleted” while terrorist activities “will be investigated immediately”.

As well as cracking down on harmful content, Mr Breton said that social media companies could be hit with fines of up to 10 percent of their revenue if they failed to comply.

In Facebook’s case that could be up to an eye-watering £4.1 billion.

Speaking this week, he said: “There will be a jurisdiction here, a judge.

“The EU Parliament and the Commission make the rules.

“If a company does not comply, for example Facebook, they will have to pay up to 10 percent of their sales as a penalty.

“Things that you are not allowed to say in real life are also not allowed to be said online.”

He called for “the same penalties, whether online or on the street”.

The French politician added: “Above all, no one has the right to insult or to spread anti-Semitism, to give an example.”

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His plans have already garnered a lot support from politicians across the bloc’s political spectrum.

Long-standing German MEP Markus Ferber wants tougher penalties for Facebook if Mark Zuckerberg’s company does not police harmful content posted on its site better.

Speaking to German publication BILD, he said: “The social media provider is not fulfilling its obligation to combat hate and hate speech online.

“The case calls for a severe fine of at least 100 million euros (£830m).”

Speaking about the toxicity that social media can create, Mr Breton said: “Online hate and hate speech really is a central problem.

“My team here in the European Commission and I have recognised this and taken upon ourselves to do something about it.

“We have been fighting for two years.

“We have drawn up two legal texts, one of which is to protect children.

“There will be a lot of headwind when it comes to this, because in the end nobody wants to be blamed. But we just have to put up with that.

“Freedom of speech exists in real life. It also has to exist online, no question. But things you’re not allowed to say in real life are also not allowed to be said online.

“There will be a jurisdiction here, a judge, as it were. Posts will then be deleted. And if this goes as far as being about terrorist activities, then you can immediately pursue this, without judicial problems.

“Names will then have to be passed on. And if a platform does not comply it will be publicly reprimanded for it and prosecuted. And the judge is not the platform.” has contacted Facebook for comment.

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