French furor over ‘hate speech’ posts…including one by a dog

Scottish man arrested after he posts video of Sieg Heiling pug which attracts more than 1.5 million views

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 May, 2016, 12:49pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 May, 2016, 5:07pm

Three French organizations say they will file legal complaints against Facebook, Twitter and Google's YouTube service for failing to remove 'hateful content' posted on their sites.

The French Jewish students union UEJF, SOS Racisme and SOS Homophobie say the internet giants have only removed a small portion of inappropriate content posted in a measured period.

In France, there is a legal requirement for internet firms to report racist, anti-Semitic or homophobic material and also remove it from their platforms.

In a joint presentation, the three associations said of offensive material posted between the end of March and May 10, Twitter removed only four percent, YouTube seven per cent and Facebook 34 per cent.

In a French television interview, UEJF president Sacha Reingewirtz said it was strange that the process of moderating comments wasn't better understood.

"We don't know who they are, which is strange from companies like that. Companies with such amazing technology and who pay little tax in France, but yet the practice of moderation remains such a mystery," he said.

Google's YouTube responded to say it had no statement to make other than the company has clear guidelines on hate speech.

A separate row is brewing over a YouTube video which shows a dog raising its paw after it hears an anti-Semitic slur.

The video, which has now been viewed more than 1.5 million times, shows the dog performing a 'Nazi salute' after the man says the phrase "Sieg Heil."

The pug dog also reacts after hearing the words "Gas the Jews."

At the end, the video's creator Markus Meechan from Scotland insists that he is a not a racist, but is only trying to play a "joke" on his girlfriend, Sue.

Meechan has since been arrested and Poilce Scotland confirmed the arrest was in relation to the alleged publication of offensive material online.

YouTube has not removed the video and said it remained confident in its moderating policy.