News today that the French Conseil Constitutionnel has struck down the Loi Avia which would have required platforms to take down unlawful content within 24 hours. The judgment illustrates the difficult position in which platforms are put when balancing competing freedoms and obligations.
There has been lots written about the rights or wrongs of delegating to private actors the role of determining that balance. More interesting in my view is the practical aspect of how one operationalizes, at scale, those sorts of decisions. What this judgment usefully recognises is that arbitrary timelines and harsh penalties for platforms for the conduct of their users will almost certainly impact on freedom of speech, with legitimate speech being taken down because that is the logical practical solution for the platform, rather than because a decision has been made (by the platform or otherwise) about the substance of the speech concerned.
"it sends the government back to the drawing board to find a more nuanced way to make platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and their powerful corporate owners, responsible for the content posted by users"