[Sondage] Unlike Elon Musk, the French want more moderation on social networks

More than one in three French people (37%) say they are worried about the potential purchase of Twitter by Elon Musk, reveals an opinion poll published on May 19, carried out by Odoxa and of which L’Usine Digitale is a partner. The eccentric billionaire, whose fortune is linked to the share price of his company Tesla, behaves erratically, notably multiplying attacks on Twitter and its employees and casting doubt on his intention to buy.

The operation is currently suspended on the pretext that the number of false accounts has not been clearly established. A justification that is not very credible and which seems above all to be used as a means of pressure to negotiate a lower price. Musk might otherwise not be able to pay.

Questioned on May 11 and 12, before these latest developments, the French were rather wary of the idea of ​​​​this takeover. The volubility of the billionaire is particularly in question, he who uses Twitter both to communicate about his companies and to publish schoolboy jokes or attacks on his detractors. Respondents who use social networks as a professional tool are 42% to fear redemption.

The French want more moderation, Elon Musk wants less

But it emerges above all from the survey (conducted among a representative sample of 1005 French people) that one of the priorities of French users is the moderation of comments on social networks. 82% of respondents believe that French law is not strict enough to fight against harassment, incitement to hatred or misinformation. And it is precisely the opposite of the priorities of Elon Musk, who has made “freedom of expression” his hobbyhorse for this acquisition.


Sacrosanct principle in the United States (1st amendment of their constitution), it is frequently perverted because it simply means that the government cannot prohibit citizens from expressing themselves, not that a private company must let anyone say whatever. In dotted lines, Elon Musk therefore sends signals above all to the American right (even the far right) telling him that he will give him full latitude. The irony of the situation being that it is already widely favored, as well on Twitter and Facebook as YouTube, by dint of political lobbying.

The case even led Thierry Breton to visit the boss at one of his factories to clear things up, following which Elon Musk said that Twitter would obviously continue to comply with the laws of each country in which it operates. Which obviously brings us back to the problem for a social network to operate in territories run by non-democratic governments. The puzzle is therefore just beginning, both for Elon Musk, for Twitter, and for users.

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