SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The French interior minister said Friday he asked Google, Facebook and Twitter to work directly with French officials during investigations and to immediately remove terrorist propaganda when authorities alert them to it.
“We emphasised that when an investigation is underway we don’t want to go through the usual government to government channels, which can take so long,” said French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve after a meeting with representatives from the US tech giants.
“It’s important to have full cooperation and quick reaction” he added. Cazeneuve’s one-day visit to San Francisco and Silicon Valley comes weeks after terrorist attacks in Paris left 20 people dead, including three gunmen.
On Jan 7, two gunmen killed 12 people and injured 11 more during an attack on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris. A third gunman killed a policewoman Jan 8 and then killed four more people a day later after taking hostages at a kosher supermarket in Paris. Police killed the three gunmen.
Twitter and Facebook spokespeople said they do everything they can to stop material that incites violence but didn’t say whether they would heed the minister’s request for direct cooperation with French authorities.
“We regularly host ministers and other governmental officials from across the world at Facebook, and were happy to welcome Mr Cazeneuve today,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
“We work aggressively to ensure that we do not have terrorists or terror groups using the site, and we also remove any content that praises or supports terrorism.”
When asked whether Twitter would work closely with French investigators, a spokesperson said their website outlines the guidelines for law enforcement to request information.
“We review all reported content against our rules, which prohibit direct, specific threats of violence against others,” the spokesperson wrote in an e-mail.
An e-mail to Google requesting comment was not immediately answered.