Sunday, 24 June, 2018

French President Macron proposes law to counter 'fake news'

The French leader met Vladimir Putin soon after he took office and directly accused the Russian leader of spreading fake news about him The French leader met Vladimir Putin soon after he took office and directly accused the Russian leader of spreading fake news about him
Ellis Copeland | 12 January, 2018, 19:16

President Emmanuel Macron is to overhaul French media laws in order to combat so-called "fake News" on social media.

Pinpointed as a recent phenomenon by media experts, especially since last year's USA presidential election, fake news has been a source of western thought and discourse ever since the "discovery" of the Americas.

Marine Le Pen, the far-right presidential candidate who was defeated by Macron a year ago, excoriated the president for his planned fake news ban.

Mr Macron, who left political rivals reeling when he won power barely a year after launching a new centrist movement, has already rattled his way through an overhaul of French labour rules, in spite of street protests and a pushback from unions.

While Theresa May has warned social media giants to shape up or face fines, France, Germany and Ireland are instituting new laws to target fake news.

He also suggested there will be caps on the amount of money that can be spent on sponsored content during these periods.

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Since becoming president he has also accused one Russian Federation channel of sowing disinformation about him via its website.

The 40-year-old president said Russian outlets RT (formerly known as Russia Today) and Sputnik published "defamatory untruths" and "deceitful propaganda" in a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin following the vote.

The new rules will have a particular effect during election proceedings, said Macron, adding that the content may be removed or the entire website may be blocked in some cases.

So the laws will attempt to increase transparency when it comes to online platforms and their advertising, and requiring them to make the identity of the person paying for them public.

Macron's office yesterday said a number of commercial deals are expected to be signed during the three-day visit but they have yet to be finalized.

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