France delays signing of Internet pledge amid U.S. pressure

France delays signing of Internet pledge amid U.S. pressure
# 24 August 2019 15:44 (UTC +04:00)

France delayed the planned signing of a pledge by Internet platforms to fight hate speech online amid pressure from the United States, a French minister said, adding that he was still hopeful the U.S. will join the initiative, APA reports citing Reuters.

France, which is hosting the G7 summit in Biarritz, was initially hoping to make social media giants sign a so-called “Charter for an Open, Free, and Safe Internet” on Friday, according to the official program.

“The Charter will be signed by major digital stakeholders in Paris on 23 August, before being presented to the G7 States in Biarritz,” the program read.

But no ceremony took place on Friday and Europe 1 radio said U.S. President Donald Trump had pressured the chief executives of these social networks from signing the pledge publicly.

France’s junior minister for the digital industry told reporters the signing was only delayed and would eventually take place on Monday.

“The initial idea was to make the platforms come to Biarritz and until now, the United States were against the signature of this pledge,” Cedric O said.

“Diplomatically, it was sensitive to make US platforms come to Biarritz and sign something while the American president wasn’t there,” he said.

Google, Facebook and Snapchat were among the platforms due to sign the charter, according to Cedric O.