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French Ministry of the Interior Refutes Internet Restriction Claims

Wesam Abo Marq Wesam Abo Marq
4th July 2023
French Ministry of the Interior Refutes Internet Restriction Claims
The French Ministry of the Interior refuted restricting the internet (Twitter)

The Claim

As per France’s General Directorate of the National Police, internet access will be restricted in order to suppress the escalating riots.

Emerging story

Social media users and media outlets disseminated a photo of a press release that purportedly originated from the General Directorate of the National Police of France. 

The press release, published in English and French, asserts that French President Emmanuel Macron has implemented internet access restrictions to address the escalating riots.

The purpose of these restrictions, according to the press release, is to regain control over the situation and manage the intensifying unrest.

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The statement specifies that during nighttime hours, temporary restrictions will be implemented to regulate internet access in certain specific districts. The purpose of these restrictions is to prevent the misuse of social media platforms and online networks for coordinating unlawful activities and promoting violence.

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Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar investigated the photo of the press release and found it to be fake.

After searching for the validity of the press release, Misbar’s team found that both the French police and the French Ministry of the Interior refuted the claim

The French Ministry of the Interior Issues Clarification

As stated by the French Ministry of the Interior, the press release attributed to the National Police and circulating online is fake.

In a tweet, the Ministry clarified that the disseminated press release is untrue and that there have been no official decisions made regarding internet access restrictions in specific districts of France.

The tweet includes a photo with a French caption that states, "Help us. Do not spread false information. Only rely on information from a reliable source."

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Photo Description: A screenshot of the French Ministry of the Interior’s tweet.

Furthermore, Misbar's team conducted a search to verify if President Macron indeed issued any directives to limit internet access in specific districts of France and found no credible sources reporting such news.

France Riots Subside 

The protests were initially sparked by the shooting of teenager Nahel M during a police traffic stop. Following a surge in violence, the riots in France appear to be calming down after five days. 

Despite the relative calm observed on Sunday night, authorities remain cautious about declaring a complete return to normalcy on Monday. 

In an effort to contain the situation, approximately 45,000 officers have been deployed across France over the past three nights. On Sunday night, the number of arrests stood at more than 150. The number of cars set on fire was reduced to 297, while 34 buildings were damaged or subjected to arson.

Nahel's Family Urges an End to Violence

During the weekend, the family of Nahel, the teenager who was fatally shot by the police, issued a heartfelt appeal for an end to the ongoing violence. Nahel's grandmother specifically criticized the rioters for using his death as a pretext and urged them to halt the destruction of public property. Their plea emphasized the importance of finding peaceful ways to address the tragedy and seek justice.

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