Lazy eyes listen
French President Emmanuel Macron has said that social media platforms and video games fueled riots across the country during a significant uprising sparked by the killing of a 17-year-old by police.
On Friday, during an emergency security meeting to handle the ongoing rioting, Macron stated that roughly one-third of those arrested over the prior three nights were “young or very young,” implying that the internet had a bad influence on youngsters and teenagers.
“Platforms and networks are playing a major role in the events of recent days,” he added of the uprising. “We’ve seen them – Snapchat, TikTok, and others – serve as places where violent gatherings have been organized, but there’s also a form of mimicry of the violence that leads to some young people losing touch with reality.”
The president went on to say that youths were heading to the streets to act out “the video games that have intoxicated them,” urging parents to keep their children at home.
Earlier, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin cautioned social media sites not to publish calls for violence or other content glorifying the riots. He promised to “take all necessary measures” if it was discovered that “social networks, whoever they are, do not respect the law.” The minister also ordered the closure of some modes of public transportation that have become a target for vandals.
Riots erupted in the Paris district of Nanterre on Tuesday night after a police officer fatally shot 17-year-old pizza delivery driver Nahel M. during a traffic stop. Following a call for “vengeance” by the teen’s mother, the cop in question was swiftly arrested and charged with homicide.
Throughout the week, the violence and looting worsened and expanded to other major towns, including the Mediterranean city of Marseille, where rioters allegedly ransacked a weapons store. According to social media accounts, several police stations were also targeted.
Darmanin stated on Friday that 917 persons have been detained by police so far, with the average age being 17 years old.