France passed laws against fake news

The French national Assembly passed two bills against the dissemination of fake news. On Tuesday evening, November 20, deputies by a significant majority approved the laws by which French President Emmanuel Macron hopes to prevent the spread of rumors and false news during the election campaigns.

According to the approved laws, parties or candidates are given the opportunity to act against publicly disseminated false information in an expedited legal procedure within three months before the national elections. In addition, the social network Facebook and microblogging service Twitter should become more open about the content that is distributed for a fee.

According to Macron, he wants to protect “democratic life” in France from fake news. Earlier, the French President accused such Russian media as Russia Today TV channel and Sputnik Agency of purposeful dissemination of speculative information about him during the election campaign. This was done in order to influence the French elections, just as it was done in the United States, said Macron.

Meanwhile, the bills caused a great discussion and were criticized, including by journalistic associations. According to critics, with the help of new laws, Macron seeks to take control of objectionable information, introduce censorship and limit freedom of speech for citizens and the media.