Sport Twitter withdraws a tweet from ex-Malaysian PM for whom "Muslims have the right to kill French people"

21:20  29 october  2020
21:20  29 october  2020 Source:   lepoint.fr

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L'ex-Premier ministre de Malaisie, Mahathir Mohamad, lors d'une conférence de presse à Kuala Lumpur, le 7 août 2020 . © Vincent Thian Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, August 7, 2020.

The day after a rowdy hearing in the United States on its moderation policy, and a few hours after an attack in France, Twitter deleted Thursday, after a period of hesitation, an inflammatory message from the former Malaysian Prime Minister , Mahathir Mohamad.

"Throughout their history, the French have killed millions of people. Many were Muslims. Muslims have the right to be angry and to kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past," wrote Mahathir Mohamad, shortly after an attack in Nice, without making any reference to it.

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The platform reacted in two stages, now first the tweet with a warning message, invoking an "interest for the public", before erasing it, but without following the French government which demanded the suspension of the account.

Three people were killed Thursday, including at least one butchered, in a church in the city of southern France, during an attack considered by the French authorities as terrorist.

Facebook, where the post was also posted, also deleted it. "We do not allow hate speech on Facebook and strongly condemn any support or call for violence, murder or physical harm," said the French subsidiary of the social network.

This episode comes the day after an eventful hearing of the bosses of the dominant social networks, Facebook, Twitter and Google (YouTube), before the US Senate.

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Their policy of regulating content published by third parties has been criticized from all sides, the Republicans accusing them of doing too much, and the Democrats not enough, as the presidential election approaches.

Twitter and Facebook, in particular, which have long defended themselves with virulence to be "arbiters of the truth", are showing more and more interventionists on their contents. But they don't want to be held legally responsible for publications, like newspapers, for example.

- France "demands" the suspension of the account -

Referring to the beheading on October 16 of a French teacher who had shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad to his students, Mr. Mahathir also said in a series of messages arsonists on his Twitter account that he did not approve of the attack but that freedom of expression did not include "insults towards others".

"Whatever religion is involved, people who are angry kill," said the ex-leader, 95, who has made controversial statements about Jews and homosexuals in the past.

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The one who was Prime Minister of Malaysia, a predominantly Muslim country, until the fall of his government in February, judged that French President Emmanuel Macron was "very primitive".

"The French should teach their citizens to respect the feelings of others. Since we accuse all Muslims and the religion of Muslims for what an angry person has done, Muslims have the right to punish the French" , he continued.

French Secretary of State for Digital Cédric O called on the American platform to suspend the account.

- "Complicit in a call to crime" -

"I just spoke with the Managing Director of Twitter France. I demanded that (Mahathir Mohamad) 's account be immediately suspended. Twitter could not be an accomplice of a call to crime ", he indicated on his personal account, in French and in English.

Twitter initially maintained the post with the following addition: "This tweet violated the rules for glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that its availability may be of interest to the public." .

Then the tweet in question was finally removed a few minutes later. Contacted by AFP in France, Twitter said that this tweet was deleted "for having violated (his) policy in terms of condoning violence".

The other comments posted by Mahathir Mohamad remained visible.

After the beheading of the French teacher Samuel Paty by an 18-year-old Chechen Russian, Emmanuel Macron promised that France would not renounce cartoons, in the name of freedom of expression.

Words that have led to strong tensions in several Muslim countries, ranging from demonstrations to the boycott of French products.

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Hardline politicians ramp up rhetoric after French church killings .
"We are now the hostages of Charlie Hebdo, we are now the hostages of the jihadists," said French sociologist François Héran.Far-right figure Marine Le Pen told France's BFM TV on Friday that "Islamism is waging war on us.

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