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French president proposes law against 'fake news'

12 January 2018

Macron described "fake news" as a threat to democracy due to it "fostering doubt and forging alternative realities which allows people to say that the media and politicians are always more or less deceptive".

Instead, victims including politicians will be able to apply to courts to have sites and accounts erased from the Internet.

He added, "We will develop our legal system to protect democracy from this fake news". He insisted that press freedom could be preserved under such a law.

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Le Monde's editorial board described legislation in such an area as press freedom and fake news, where the barriers are fluid and hard to define, as "inherently perilous".

French President Emmanuel Macron starts media law reform as a measure against the spread of "fake news" in social media. The French President specifically turned his attention to the Russian media, accusing TV channel RT that during the campaign it caused disinformation through its website and 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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Mr Macron's campaign was also hit with a last minute email leak by suspected Russian hackers who stole thousands of classified documents and dumped them online.

The statement said Macron had expressed his concern to President Hassan Rouhani over the number of casualties in the six-day-old protests, and told him that freedom of speech and protest must be respected.

The EU has launched anaction committee to draft rules at combatting fake news, but no legislation iscurrently in place.

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French President Emmanuel Macron called Thursday for Western nations to play a greater role in ending the war in Syria, saying the crisis could not be resolved by just "a few" foreign powers.

French president proposes law against 'fake news'