France's Macron proposes law to combat fake news


During the election cycle previous year, Macron was a target of some fake news stories relating to offshore accounts.

French President Emmanuel Macron plans to introduce legislation that will crack down on so-called "fake news" during French election campaigns, calling the spread of such misinformation a threat to democracy.

What spooked critics the most was a proposal that would allow judges during election campaigns to block content deemed to be fake news, shutting down user accounts and even entire websites found to be peddling fake news.

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The Guardian reported that the upcoming legislation for websites will mean sites will have to reveal who is financing them, and the amount of money permitted for sponsored content would be limited.

"We need to recover a European ambition to be a more sovereign, more united, more democratic Europe", Macron said. Macron's office said the French leader underscored that "fundamental rights including freedom of expression and freedom to demonstrate must be respected".

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.

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

President Macron said that during elections, tougher rules will be put on content shared on social media.

A French journalist, Loup Bureau, who was detained in a Turkish prison for more than seven weeks on "terror" charges, returned to France in September after Macron appealed to Erdoğan for his release.

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President Trump is oneof the most outspoken critics of fake news, although like most politicians heis also regularly accused of lying himself in a bid to influence voters.