The French authorities can shut down social networks if the situation in the country deteriorates, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday.
“We need to think about the issue of social media and applicable bans. And if the situation worsens, we perhaps need to be able to regulate and turn them off,” Macron was quoted as saying by French broadcaster BFMTV.
However, the president added that this discussion should not be held “rashly.”
On Friday, Macron said that the French authorities would identify those who called for protests through social media in light of the ongoing unrest triggered by the killing of a teenager.
Later that day, French media reported that the government had met with representatives of social media due to unrest in the country. In particular, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and Minister Delegate for the Digital Transition and Telecommunications Jean-Noel Barrot reportedly warned platforms such as TikTok, Snapchat and Twitter of their responsibility and asked for support identifying users involved in committing offenses.
France has been gripped by unrest since June 27, when a 17-year-old boy was shot dead by a police officer for failing to stop his car when ordered to do so in Nanterre, a suburb of Paris. The officer who pulled the trigger on Nahel M. has been taken into custody for voluntary manslaughter, but that has not deterred the protesters.