Macron mulls blocking social media to stem further unrest
PARIS - French President Emmanuel Macron is considering blocking online media in the fight against further unrest in France, reported German news agency (dpa).
It would be necessary to think about the use of social networks by protesting youths and possible bans, Macron said at a meeting with mayors in Paris on Tuesday, broadcaster BFMTV reported.
"And if things get out of hand, you might have to put yourself in a position to regulate (the social networks) or shut them down. That should definitely not be done in the heat of the moment, and I'm glad we didn't have to do that," Macron said.
Already on Friday, the president blamed social media for the escalation of violence during protests against police brutality. Violent gatherings had been organised via social media, he said. Now Macron said that the handling of social media must be thought about calmly. "Because when it becomes an instrument for assemblies or for trying to kill, it is a real issue."
Meanwhile, in northern France, controls were stepped up at the border with Belgium to stop the import of fireworks, the Le Parisien newspaper reported on Tuesday evening, citing a prefecture in the area.
The aim is to prevent the rioters from stocking up on fireworks. People with pyrotechnics had already been stopped on both sides of the border. The prefecture in northern France ordered a ban on the sale and carrying of fireworks and petrol in canisters until mid-July.
Since the death of 17-year-old Nahel by police fire during a traffic stop on Tuesday last week, France has been rocked by riots. There have been repeated incidents of looting, arson and violent confrontations between police officers and rioters. The officer who fired the shot at the youth is being investigated on suspicion of manslaughter. - BERNAMA