Paris-French president

Emmanuel Macron

called for international regulation to curb the spread of ideological extremism in the Western democracies and to abandon the technical and politically correct enterprises that allow extremism to flourish.

Speaking to a group of journalists at the Elysée Palace, Macron said the storming of the US Capitol was a sign of the West’s inability to control social media platforms and allow them to become hotbeds of hate, moral relativism and conspiracy theories.

French leader called on technology companies – without naming them – to help former president

Donald Trump

a platform to spread hate for years before they do anything.

Twitter Inc.

after the Capitol Hill riots on the 6th. Janvier blocked Mr. Trump’s personal account, saying it risked further abuse.

Facebook Inc.

announced Mr. Trump’s suspension after the riots, before extending it indefinitely.

All those who have allowed President Trump to succeed have waited until they were fully convinced that he no longer had the power, and then cloaked themselves in dignity and said: Let’s get the hose off him now, Macron said. Why didn’t they close his accounts before all this happened?

Images of the United States Capitol on January 6 The events of January 1 were shocking, Mr Macron said.


Jim Lo Scalzo/Shutterstock

said governments had ceded too much power to technology companies and expected them to act as the guardians of Western democracy. This is truly international regulation, said Mr Macron.

The French leader made these comments during his first meeting with the international media since falling ill with the coronavirus in late December. Mr Macron sat in the golden ballroom in the middle of a table that stretched the length of the room, wearing a black turtleneck.

An old mechanical clock tickles like a wash about how Western democracies are undergoing a kind of anthropological mutation under the influence of social media.

Mr Macron said it was shocking to see footage of an extremist in a far-right suit on Capitol Hill, the heart of power.

But the spread of this image has a replication effect – like a virus, Macron said, referring to the pathogen that causes Covid-19.

Commemoration in October for French teacher Samuel Pati.


Michel Euler/Presse Associée

Mr Macron said France was going through similar upheavals, from the yellow protest movement to the fight against Islamist terrorism, which had been going on for years. In October, an 18-year-old Russian of Chechen descent beheaded a high school teacher after class. The attacker came to the school after seeing a video on social media of a Muslim parent asking a teacher to show the class cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed from the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Political correctness today has compromised the primacy of the citizen over the believer

– French President Emmanuel Macron

In recent months, the Macron government has closed mosques and other associations it suspects of Islamic separatism, in what Mr. Macron calls an ongoing campaign by religious extremists to undermine the institutions of the French Republic. Opponents of the crackdown accused Macron of stigmatizing France’s Muslim community, which is one of the largest in Europe.

Mr Macron stated that he was defending the French citizenship model. What makes a man French, he says, is the acceptance of reason, freedom and other 18th century Enlightenment values. Century.

Islamist ideologues are trying to drive a wedge between members of the French Muslim community and the French state, Macron said, adding that the French sometimes compromise their republican values out of sensitivity to religious beliefs.

We have a real crisis in the French integration model, Mr Macron said. Political correctness today has compromised the primacy of the citizen over the believer.

Macron also addressed tensions in the Middle East, saying France could play a role in appealing to regional powers such as Israel and Saudi Arabia in support of any efforts to revive the international agreement reached in 2015 to limit Iran’s nuclear program. In 2018, Mr. Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement, making its implementation even more difficult.

Macron said time is running out because Iran will hold presidential elections in June. There is a time lag between elections. I think we should catch him.

Big Tech’s lament over former President Donald Trump has sparked a debate about the future of moderating content on social media. WSJ talks to an expert in disinformation and moderation about what happens next.

E-mail Stacey Mayhtree at [email protected] and Noemi Bisserb at [email protected].

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