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French government backs first-ever anti-racist app

"Lets wipe racism off our streets!" a Licra poster
"Lets wipe racism off our streets!" a Licra poster Pascal Otlinghaus/licra

The French government has backed the first-ever anti-racist app for smartphones. Launched on Tuesday, the app enables users to notify local authorities of racist graffiti or racist attacks or abuse.

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The app, developed by the Licra anti-racist campaign, was presented to the press at the digital economy ministry on Tuesday.

It will allow users to photograph racist graffiti and send the pictures to Licra, which has promised to contact the local council to get the offending tags of slogans removed.

"Our towns and neighbourhoods are polluted by tags like this, which often lead to racist acts," said Licra president Alain Jakubowtiz.

Witnesses or victims can also use the app to provide evidence of racist attacks, the group says.

Licra says it will draw up a map of racist graffiti in France and submit a report to the authorities and to draw up a response to far-right groups' growing use of new technology over the next three years.

"A tip-off of a racist tag is not an infringement of liberties," Digital Economy Minister Fleur Pellerin said, explaining her decision to sponsor the app. "This is not a mechanism for informers but for reporting."

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