Is France’s Freedom of Speech in severe jeopardy?


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«  I do sound quite alarmist but yes, to my mind, Freedom of Speech is under attack in France, the country of Montesquieu, Voltaire and Tocqueville, » said Charles Rault, Cyceon’s Founder as he was coordinating with his team for an appropriate response after Cyceon has come under heavy pressure from Le Monde press group because of an article published on March 16, 2017 titled En Marche towards the end of ownership in France?

Cyceon dared to ask a question, start a debate and wonder how the polls’ current frontrunner in France’s presidential race, Emmanuel Macron whose party’s named En Marche (EM), would finance his presidential agenda. As a result, it prompted a largely excessive response from Macron’s media supporters particularly from Le Monde whose several main shareholders are openly supporting Macron’s election to the French Presidency.

Even before Cyceon had a few minutes to answer their e-mail that Le Monde published about Cyceon. Worse, other related newspapers published without ever asking a sole question to Cyceon. “Our 272-word article drew an unexpectedly involuntary high number of readers and considering that the title is a question and that most of the verbs written are conditional, never would we have expected such a tough coordinated offensive against Cyceon,” added Charles Rault.

It’s really unexpectedly that at the same time Cyceon published another article that questioned the relevance of the opinion polls, asking how potential votes in favor of Emmanuel Macron could be so high while Cyceon’s data didn’t corroborate it. “Of course, we put forward the fact that Cyceon could this time be really wrong on that, we did write it. However, we’ve never witnessed such a discreet and high popularity in French politics,” explained Rault.

Cyceon did publish the denial sent by En Marche but kept its articles online considering that the hypothesis it dealt with remained valid. Let’s add too that there is none ad hominem words in these articles.

Having written before – sometimes with a far tougher tone – about Marine Le Pen, François Fillon, Nicolas Sarkozy, Alain Juppé, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan without meeting any difficulty or pressure, Cyceon has vowed its concerns that the tough response it met could prefigure a deep tightening of Freedom of Speech in case Emmanuel Macron becomes the next French President.

Moreover, a highly controversial so-called anti “Fake News” draft bill introduced by Senator Nathalie Goulet could be voted within days. “What worries me a lot is that it doesn’t limit itself to terrorist or extremist contents. It wants to deal with any information that would be deemed ‘fake news’ according to terms that nobody really knows and by people who, contrary to Cyceon, forecasted Hillary Clinton’s win or anti-Brexit’s win,” Charles Rault underlined.

Indeed, if restraining and containing terrorist or extremist “fake news” seems legitimate if it doesn’t cut intelligence agencies from useful open sources, such a policy would be unacceptable from a democratic and Freedom of Speech viewpoint if it’s applied to any other topic as well.

Despite heavy pressure, Cyceon has decided to keep working as usual, comforted by hundreds of messages of support from all over the world, especially from seasoned intelligence analysts and specialists who’ve read its contents for approximately two years and a half.

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