Twitter has blocked the #OuiJeVote ( Yes, I Vote), a voter registration campaign by the French government because of breaking the government's own anti-fake-news regulations.
The political campaign, managed by the French government information service, aimed to urge voters to register for the May's European Parliament elections ahead of the deadline.
Since December last year, France made it compulsory for the online political campaigns to declare publicly who paid for them and how much. The state information service had planned to spend on sponsored posts.
The Jack Dorsey-owned social platform has not yet updated its services in the country accordingly to guarantee the required transparency. Therefore, it could not come up with a solution to comply with the newly-implemented Frech law; therefore it opted for avoiding potential issues and refused to take money from the government.
Twitter's action has lead to adverse reactions among politicians in Paris.
The government agency in charge of the controversial post commented that it was not the new anti-fake news law but Twitter which could not cope with the situation adequately. According to the government body, such messages which encourage people to register to vote should be referred to as ''political campaigns'' but as ''public information initiatives.''
The agency said they remain open for discussion with the social media platform. The MP Naïma Moutchou tweeted she thought it was an April Fools.
French Interior Minister Christophe Castanter also used the platform to express his disagreement with the decision, highlighting that Twitter should focus on fighting content that promotes terrorism and not electoral campaigns of a democratic republic.
Mr. Castaner also pointed out that he would discuss the issue with the Big Four tech companies at the G7 meeting with interior ministers the upcoming Thursday.
In early 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron has announced plans for a new law to combat fake news in an attempt ''to protect democracy''. Back then he said that during elections social media platforms should face regulations over the content they publish.
Macron proposed stricter rules on social media about the content revealing the sources of their news content. In addition to that, President called for putting limits on the amounts one could spend on sponsored posts.
In addition to that, France's audiovisual regulator would be granted additional powers to combat any destabilization attempts by television channels controlled or financed by foreign states.
The new law entered into force in December 2018. As proposed by the President, its main aim is to fight anonymous political messages and declare who covered social media marketing costs.
Do you believe that the new law would actually stop spreading fake news over the social media?