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France's Macron calls for online parental controls for under-15s

By AFP

April 25, 2024 08:30 PM


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Use of social networks by children under 15 should be subject to parental controls in the European Union, French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday.

"I'm in favour of digital majority being at 15 years in Europe," Macron said in a wide-ranging speech on the future of the bloc at Paris's Sorbonne University.

"Before 15 years of age, there should be parental control on access to this digital space," he said.

"If the content isn't checked, this access produces all kinds of risks and mental distortions, which can justify all kinds of hatred," Macron said.

France has seen repeated violent incidents in recent years involving minors' access to the internet, including the 2020 beheading of a teacher, Samuel Paty, who showed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in an ethics class about free speech.

The attacker who killed Paty, an 18-year-old radicalised Islamist, found out about the class from social media posts.

Social media apps such as TikTok were also believed to play a role in riots that spread across many cities in France after police shot dead a teenager, identified as Nahel M., during a traffic stop in a Paris suburb in 2023.

The government announced measures to punish parents of rioters in the wake of the violence, which damaged hundreds of government buildings and businesses.

 


AFP


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