Facebook to help French police identify hate speech suspects

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Mark Zuckerberg

FILE – In this April 4, 2013, file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg walks at the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook’s plan to create a digital currency used across the world is already raising concern with financial regulators and privacy experts. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

PARIS (AP) — Facebook is agreeing to help French police identify hate speech suspects, in what the French government is celebrating as a global first.

France’s digital affairs minister, Cedric O, said that Facebook will provide authorities “IP addresses to help identify authors of hateful content.” Speaking on broadcaster France-Info, he expressed hope that the cooperation could be expanded to other countries.

Facebook said in a statement that it will help provide “basic information in criminal hate speech cases” to French authorities but will “push back if (the request) is overbroad, inconsistent with human rights, or legally defective.”

Like many countries, France has been battling violent and racist content online, and has been hit by deadly extremist attacks in recent years.

The move came after Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg came to Paris last month and met with French President Emmanuel Macron.

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