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France erupted in violent protests following the police shot and killed a 17-year-old driver during a traffic stop.
A fake government press release announced there were temporary restrictions on internet access in some regions.
No limitations on internet or social media access have been instituted, though French President Emmanuel Macron has criticized the role these platforms have played in the violence.
No more social media in France? One Instagram user suggested a government crackdown has imposed just such a rule.
"French President Macron has declared a total ban on social media reporting of events in France," read words over a video of a burning building shared July 3. "So, here you go. Fire in Lyon."
While the parents of some French teens may very well institute their own social media restrictions, Macron himself imposed no such ban.
The Instagram post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
On the evening of June 27, French citizens took to the streets following the death of Nahel Merzouk, a 17-year-old killed by police during a traffic stop in Nanterre, a Parisian suburb. The officer responsible for Merzouk’s death has been charged with voluntary homicide.
More than 3,000 protesters were arrested, most of them teenagers; the average age of detainees being 17. French President Emmanuel Macron denounced the role that social media companies played in the spread of the violence. He called on companies such as TikTok and Snapchat to remove the "most sensitive types of content" being shared and help identify those who were using social media to sow further chaos.
On July 2, just before the Instagram video in question was posted, a fake document began circulating that appeared to be an official press release from the French government instituting internet restrictions.
That same day, the French Ministry of the Interior released a tweet disputing the document’s claims. "Attention to #FakeNews," it read, saying no such decision had been made. Access to social media remains undisturbed in France.
On July 5, Macron suggested limiting social media as a regulatory tool for "when things get out of hand." But his administration was quick to walk back his comments, saying that such a measure was not being seriously considered.
We rate the claim that "French President Macron has declared a total ban on social media reporting of events in France" False.
The New York Times, France Police Shooting and Riots: What to Know, June 29, 2023
Le Monde, Police officer charged with voluntary homicide in French teen's killing, June 29, 2023
BFMTV, Tweet, July 5, 2023
BFMTV, Tweet, July 5, 2023
Reuters, France's Macron: Social media platforms should help tame violence amid riots, June 30, 2023
Le Monde, Protests in France: Several transport lines closed, events canceled, June 30, 2023
Reuters, France riots: Minister deploys 45,000 police amid riots, June 30, 2023
PolitiFact, France did not announce internet shutdown amid riots, as social media posts claim, July 5, 2023
The Guardian, Macron accused of authoritarianism after threat to cut off social media | France | The Guardian, July 5, 2023
POLITICO, Macron floats social media cuts during riots, July 5, 2023
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