The Paris prosecutor will set up a center specializing in online hate

Paris prosecutor Rémy Heitz confirmed the creation of a specialized center against online hatred in early 2021 following the murder of history professor Samuel Paty on October 16. Geography, at a college in Conflans Sainte-Honorine, in the Paris region. This national center, made up of two or three judges and lawyers specializing in press law and online crime, will work with other prosecutors in France. It will also work with the Pharos reporting platform created in 2009, which enables suspicious content to be reported online. In addition, the pole validated by the Prime Minister will work closely with social networks to identify the perpetrators.

“A quick, visible and efficient answer”

The bar will make it possible to “establish a quick, visible and effective response to online hatred,” affirmed Rémy Heitz. The aim is to remove the most dangerous content as quickly as possible and respond to threats and excuses for terrorism in real time as “action may be taken,” he explains. Indeed, France is extremely vigilant towards terrorist attacks. Prosecutors confirm that no fewer than 80 online investigations into hate acts have been launched in the Paris region and at least 200 domestically.

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“We have many cases, we have had many after the murder of Samuel Paty, threats, apologies for terrorism, slander of a racist nature,” said Rémy Heitz. “The investigations have already been carried out (…), some have already started, have already triggered the appearance of the authors in court or before the children’s judge,” he added.

8,500 people are monitored every day

The Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin announced on Sunday, October 4th, on Europe 1 that since 2017 there has been an average of one failed attack per month. He says 8,500 people are monitored daily by DGSI and Territorial Intelligence. To this end, the minister also recalled that 1000 jobs had been created in three years to face the real threat posed by France and other European countries.

A law against online hatred was passed in the National Assembly on May 13, 2020, forcing social networks to delete illegal content in less than an hour. This law, which came into force on July 1, 2020 and also aimed to tighten the screws on the weaving giants, is another step forward in the fight against this scourge.

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