back to article French president Macron insists new regulations needed to protect us all from Facebook's claws

French president Emmanuel Macron has insisted that new laws are needed to limit and protect online content and the internet itself. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Paris, Macron made repeated calls for additional regulation, and complained about the "false alternative" of self- …

  1. Bob Dole (tm)

    >His issue with the self-regulatory approach is that it "treats all content as equal"

    bwawaw... That's really funny. None of those self-regulated platforms treats all content as equal. Certain content is promoted and other content is hidden based on the whims of the CEOs.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "made it a little surprising"

    It is hardly surprising to want to work with FaceBook. As much as I hate that fucking platform, it is not going to go away simply because I hate it. It is here to stay, and my President is perfectly pragmatic in trying to work with the beast and maybe weaken it from inside.

    Because from outside, it is invulnerable.

    1. Shadow Systems

      Re: "made it a little surprising"

      At Pascal Monett, re: FB's supposed invulnerability.

      I disagree. All it takes is a country willing to nationally block all but VPN traffic to it, do a nation wide campaign of "FB is bad for you, bad for our economy, bad for Democracy, & we're blocking it for our protection" & FB will begin to die. It may only start as a single nation doing it, but if enough countries all decide to block the bastards it will hit FB right where it hurts: their shareholders.

      I've said it before & I'll say it again. FB won't do a damn thing to change unless & until it makes the shareholders start howling for Zuck's head on a pike. Start costing their shareholders billions & not only will FB sit up & take notice, FB's own shareholders will serve up Zuck as a sacraficial lamb for the slaughter.

      My own corrupt politicians won't do a fucking thing to stop him, they're too happy with the campaign contributions, but if someplace like France, Germany, or *the entire EU* decides enough is enough, all it will take is a ban stopping the bulk of their citizens from accessing the service to get their attention in a hurry.

      1. Ole Juul

        Re: "made it a little surprising"

        Right on @Shadow Systems. It is from the outside that change must come. And the outside is us.

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: "made it a little surprising"

        all it will take is a ban stopping the bulk of their citizens from accessing the service to get their attention in a hurry.

        And we all know what happens when the French state bans its citizens from something they want. They just sit back and meekly accept it. Not.

        "Let them eat Google"?

  3. ivan5

    Macron made repeated calls for additional regulation,

    Which is not surprising since in the past the French were dead against an encrypted internet.

    1. DropBear

      Just the French being their usual crypto-Chinese without actually admitting they'd looove to implement that model yesterday if possible. For you own good, bien sûr... l'état knows best.

  4. Mike 137 Silver badge

    even greater problems

    While facebook et al can indeed be perceived as having problematic business models in respect of data slurping, there's a much bigger problem on the back of that. One could argue that sign up to these services is voluntary, but there's a massive and growing body of web sites that include trackers that (often silently) inform these slurpers of visits to their pages whether or not the visitor has signed up to them.

    Consequently fb et al gather masses of profile information about those who have chosen not to subscribe to them, but the origin of this potentially abusive practice is not them alone but the designers and owners of the sites that carry the trackers.

    Another abuse is the automatic creation of "accounts" by services that act as intermediaries, a classic example being Eventbrite, which creates an Eventbrite account for anyone who registers for an event using the service and apparently maintains records of all events booked for thereafter by that account holder. This is potentially sensitive profiling on the part of what is in strict terms merely a data processor on behalf of event organisers, and is hard to justify objectively as necessary to the principal parties (the event organiser and the potential attender of an event).

    The basic assumption that a business is free to do whatever they want with any information you give them is fundamentally in opposition to the principles of the GDPR, but unfortunately the legislation is not explicit enough to prevent it happening, due to the vagueness of the "legitimate interest" lawful basis which is becoming a catch all for whatever anyone wants to do but can't justify to the data subject.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: even greater problems

      "While facebook et al can indeed be perceived as having problematic business models in respect of data slurping, ..."

      What is problematic with FB's business model ? It's perfectly clear: they sell their users data, all of it. It's also the only one they can have. No problem at all for them.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "decisions over what their citizens should read"

    There have been limitations on what you could write - while also in most cases people have to take responsibility of what they write - anonymity could be the exception, not the rule, and usually someone else takes the responsibility of verifying anonymous source. Press has rules it has to abide to.

    Maybe we forgot that the spread of the totalitarianism which began one century ago was greatly helped by the then new media. Communism, Fascism and Nazism all well understood the power, and how to use photos, movies, ads and radios to spread their propaganda quickly to a large audience, in a very appealing way.

    Only a small number of communists had ever read Marx (if they could read at all...), but many of them were indoctrinated through the new available channels. Nazism accurate choreographs and their recording are still the mainstay of Hitler History Channel. All of them were based on a "personality cult" that required to spread the image and the voice of the leader, and whole propaganda organizations were setup, and access to productions often made free.

    Today we have again some people who understood as well the power of new available media to spread their ideas very quickly and in appealing way - or to wholly control them to avoid anything that could "displease" the ruling party.

  6. bombastic bob Silver badge

    maybe the REAL problem

    maybe the REAL problem is less in the hands of Facebook, but rather the fact that zillions of people are WILLING to BE EXPLOITED by them...

    and as you can't go around protecting people from themselves in a FREE society, you end up with "that kind" of solution, i.e. gummint regulators increasing their own power at the expense of freedom.

    perhaps there's a simpler solution: hold FB accountable to existing rules, and make sure they're enforced. And clarifying the use of tracking and other information, via "opt in", with GDPR's 'right to be forgotten', should be enough. So yeah, just a few tweeks to what's there right now oughta do it.

    But yeah politicians LOVE to pontificate, don't they?

    (see icon)

    "for the children - for their own good. because we're good people and we know better..."

    ^^^--- when you hear that, RUN, HIDE, and HOLD ONTO YOUR WALLET and your FREEDOM

    1. ArrZarr Silver badge

      Re: maybe the REAL problem

      It needs to start with parents, but the problem with parents is outlined in one of Sir pTerry's quotes:

      “Sometimes I really think people ought to have to pass a proper exam before they're allowed to be parents. Not just the practical, I mean.”

      ― Susan Sto Helit, Thief of Time

    2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: maybe the REAL problem


      "for the children - for their own good. because we're good people and we know better..."

      Which begs another observation from Pterry

      The king at the top is good.... lets hope his 2nd is good too because he rules in the name of the king.... and lets hope his assistants are good because they also rule in the name of the king and it only take 1 bastard to bring the system down.....

  7. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Changed Days ....

    But yeah politicians LOVE to pontificate, don't they?

    (see icon)

    "for the children - for their own good. because we're good people and we know better..."

    ^^^--- when you hear that, RUN, HIDE, and HOLD ONTO YOUR WALLET and your FREEDOM .... bombastic bob

    Now what they fear not to hear or comprehend is REVOLUTION IN STEALTHY UPRISINGS BEYOND CURRENT KEN, bb.

    Ye olde gravely to be regarded Rumsfeld observation and worry ...... Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.

  8. Rich 2 Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    Maybe. Just maybe.... he's right

    The internet seems to be divided into the bits that have long-since started their decent into the sewer, and the bits who's **ONLY** purpose is to spy on as many people as it can and gather as much information as possible on those people

    The situation s certainly getting no better any time soon, so I'd be prepared to listen to what Mr Macron has to say.

  9. Chairman of the Bored

    France? Seriously?

    So Macron unilaterally disarmed the metadata feeds, IMSI catchers, and other slurp feeding his National Commission for Control of Intelligence Techniques (CNCTR)?American-style knee-jerk legislation passed in 2015 after the Charlie Hebdo incident gave them sudo su power over the French public, and I recall the French public was not impressed.

    So Macron is now for privacy? [Crickets] Didn't think so!

  10. codejunky Silver badge


    "In the name of liberty we've allowed the enemies of liberty to gain prominence casting away everything we've fought long and hard for," he argued. Instead, he said: "We want our values upheld on the internet."

    And what values are they? This is the Macron who wants more Europe (not actually Europe but EU), wants the EU to become nationalistic over its military and increase its military (not a shock considering France has military industry in the EU) and wont give the French a referendum because they would probably vote to leave the EU.

    More regulation for clawing at power sake is not a good thing and certainly not for liberty. The internet was free for all until increasing regulation to remove more and more and to dictate the narrative. Dont want to let those pesky people have a say, have access to information and so on.

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