The French government blames social media platforms in the country, following fight nights of violent protests over the killing of a 17-year-old boy by a police officer in Nanterre.
The protests erupted on Tuesday after a video circulated online showing Nahel M., who was driving a yellow Mercedes, being shot at point-blank range by a police officer during a traffic stop. The officer, who claimed he fired in self-defense, has been arrested and charged with voluntary homicide.
The video sparked outrage and anger among many young people, especially those from ethnic minority backgrounds, who accused the police of racism and brutality. Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Paris and other cities, clashing with the police, setting fire to cars and buildings, and looting shops. According to the interior ministry, more than 1,300 people have been arrested so far, and 45,000 police and gendarmes have been deployed to quell the unrest.
President Emmanuel Macron has condemned the violence and called for calm, urging parents to keep their children at home and respect the curfew imposed in several areas. He also blamed social media for fueling the riots, saying that some young people were copying violent video games and were intoxicated by extremist content. He asked TikTok and Snapchat to remove the most sensitive videos and to identify the users who incited disorder or violence.