How to Regulate Facebook? Mark Zuckerberg Meets Emmanuel Macron

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Mark Zuckerberg and Emmanuel Macron discuss how to regulate Facebook

The boss of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg was in Paris this Friday 10th May, 2019 to discuss with Emmanuel Macron ways to combat hate content

Emmanuel Macron and Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg discussed Friday, May 10, 2019 at the Elysee ways to fight against hate content , while the pressure is intensifying to regulate social networks and especially Facebook.

France plans to promote a law that would force social networks to remove the contents reported within 24 hours, on pain of a large fine, and wants to promote such a regulation at European level.

Limit the “virality” of content

During his meeting with the French president on Friday, the boss of Facebook suggested limiting the “virality” of content rather than its duration of publication, for example by preventing it from being republished or suggested to other users, explained the Elysee.

“Mark Zuckerberg asks to distinguish the impact and the duration, focusing not on the withdrawal period but especially to make sure that nobody sees these contents. He would prefer that the notion of delay does not appear in the text in case of report by a lambda user, “said the Elysee, without commenting on this suggestion.

Zuckerberg said he was “encouraged” and “optimistic about the legislation” that the French public authorities are considering on social networks, after his meeting with the French president.

“I’m hopeful it can become a model” used “in the European Union,” Zuckerberg told reporters in Paris.

Independent administrative authority

Another element on the table, the report of the Loutrel mission on “empowering social networks”. This report is the result of a mission of several weeks French officials to which Facebook has opened its doors to explain how hate content was spotted and removed.

This report proposes the creation of an independent administrative authority in each European country, charged with enforcing by social networks a principle of “transparency” on how to prioritize and moderate content published by Internet users.

Request for “effective devices”

Could the bill proposed by Laetitia Avia, which focuses on the very rapid withdrawal of suspicious content, be amended to take into account these suggestions? “Like any text, there may be changes,” says the Elysee.

Emmanuel Macron focuses on the results and asks “effective mechanisms, the responsibility of the actors (authors of content and platforms) and the ability to decline this proposal at European level,” says the Presidency.

Zuckerberg, who first met on Friday morning with State Secretary Cédric O, had already met the French president on May 23, 2018 during the first edition of “Tech for Good”, a meeting where global digital leaders had been working on what they could contribute to the commons, such as education or health.


The Loutrel report also recommends differentiated treatment according to the size of the platforms, with maximum control for very large players like Facebook, but less for others. The report does not address the issue of substantive criteria for determining which types of content are unacceptable.

These questions would be solved little by little in each European country, as the dialogue between the administrative authority and social networks concerned, according to Bercy.

Mark Zuckerberg has publicly called for the intervention of the public authorities in the regulation of major internet platforms.

“Public policy makers often tell me that we have too much power in terms of expression, and frankly, I agree,” he said in a column in several newspapers around the world on March 30. “I come to believe that we should not make such decisions alone”.

Emmanuel Macron, for his part, shows the will to “make France the country that invents regulation” of the new economy, to “reconcile technology and the common good”.

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