French president accused of authoritarianism after threat to cut off social media

French president Emmanuel Macron is facing a backlash after threatening to cut off social media networks as a means of stopping the spread of violence during periods of unrest.

  • Officials and government ministers responded by insisting the president was not threatening a “general blackout” but instead the “occasional and temporary” suspension of platforms.

Co-founder of the Front de Mères (Mother’s Front) collective representing parents in the working-class banlieues, Fatima Ouassak, said the issue was a distraction.

  • “It’s a diversion tactic. Instead of debating the issue of police violence … we are diverting to the responsibility of the social media networks and parents,” Ouassak told BFM television. “It’s secondary and about the authorities avoiding their responsibility.”

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