March 23, 2020

Publications

Without any request, on his or her newsfeed, those who surfs on the social network built by Facebook, has found on 23 of March 2020, in the morning, the following message :

« X (prénom de l'internaute), agissez maintenant pour ralentir la propagation du coronavirus (COVID-19) Retrouvez les actualités des autorités sanitaires et institutions publiques, des conseils pour ralentir la propagation du coronavirus et des ressources pour vous et vos proches dans le Centre d’information sur le coronavirus (COVID-19)" ("X (user's name), act now to slow down the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Find the health authorities and public institutions' news, advices to slow down the spread of the Coronavirus for you and your entourage in the Information Center about Coronavirus (COVID-19) »).

This corresponds to the more general declaration done the same day by Kang-Xing Jin, director of Health at Facebook, who declares : "In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Facebook is supporting the global public health community’s work to keep people safe and informed. Since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a public health emergency in January, we’ve taken steps to make sure everyone has access to accurate information, stop misinformation and harmful content, and support global health experts, local governments, businesses and communities.".

Thanks, Facebook to indicate how to do ; by the way, thanks to having invited me to do it. By the way, is it really an « invitation » ? Since the expression is « act now ». Just miss the exclamation point, and the pointed finger of Uncle Sam for « war effort »!footnote-1770.

If in Law, we can consider « invitation », it would be not to the "invitation" that in the past Bank of France did to shareholders banks to refinance a bank which risks to be soon into difficulties that we could consider, invitation from which the invited cannot really escape. No, obviously no, it is just the same message that you and me can write on our Facebook pages to tell similar things about the same purpose ! But, Facebook would be, like you and me, editor of contents ?

Questions and difficulties which encourage to proceed to the legal analysis to know under which title Facebook posted such a message.

The first hypothesis is that this firm has acted spontaneously, following its « Corporate Social Responsibility » (I) If it is the right qualification, with regards to the content of the message, legal consequences are important because this firm, without generalizing to others, by the expression of its care of common good, shows, by transitivity, that it is an editor.

The second hypothesis starts from the observation that Facebook is a « crucial digital operator ». In this perspective, the firm is constraint to Compliance Law (II). It is the reason why, it is constraint by specific obligations, that excludes the spontaneous message emission qualification. If it is the right qualification, with regards to the content of the message, legal consequences are also important and of a totally different nature. Indeed, the qualification leads to develop the relation between the obligation to fight against fake news and malicious websites towards those of redirecting towards public websites, benefiting for the operator of a reliability presumption.

Read the developments below.

1

Rhetoric of patriotic requisition, whose the image was taken back a lot then, either to appropriate better its efficiency outside war context, or to criticize it, principally to laugh at it

April 5, 2019

Thesaurus : Doctrine

Référence complète : Martin, D., Les contraintes et les vertus de la compliance, in Frison-Roche, M.-A. (dir.), Pour une Europe de la Compliancesérie Régulations & Compliance, Dalloz, 2019.

 

 

Lire une présentation générale de l'ouvrage dans lequel est publié l'article.

Consulter les autres titres de la Série dans laquelle est publié l'ouvrage.

Updated: July 31, 2013 (Initial publication: Sept. 20, 2011)

Teachings : Les Grandes Questions du Droit, semestre d'automne 2011

Updated: July 31, 2013 (Initial publication: Sept. 13, 2011)

Teachings : Les Grandes Questions du Droit, semestre d'automne 2011