Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron threaten internet companies with fines over extremist posts
Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron will today launch a drive against online extremism, which could see technology companies fined if they fail to take down inappropriate content.
The Prime Minister travels to Paris later for her first visit since Mr Macron won the French presidency last month.
The two leaders will present a joint campaign to tackle the proliferation of radicalising content on the internet.
The strategy will include investigating whether to introduce a “legal liability” on companies to remove unacceptable posts, with fines for those that fail to comply.
The Conservatives called for tougher action to stop hate material spreading online in their election manifesto and again after the terror attacks in Manchester and London.
Speaking ahead of her trip, Mrs May said: “The counter-terrorism cooperation between British and French intelligence agencies is already strong, but President Macron and I agree that more should be done to tackle the terrorist threat online.
“In the UK we are already working with social media companies to halt the spread of extremist material and poisonous propaganda that is warping young minds.
“And today I can announce that the UK and France will work together to encourage corporations to do more and abide by their social responsibility to step up their efforts to remove harmful content from their networks, including exploring the possibility of creating a new legal liability for tech companies if they fail to remove unacceptable content.
“We are united in our total condemnation of terrorism and our commitment to stamp out this evil.”
Mrs May will also attend the England vs France football match at the Stade de France this evening.