Legislation put forward in France to tackle fake news and disinformation

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Publication Date 2018
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France's President Emmanuel Macron vowed on 3 January 2018 to introduce legislation to ban fake news on the internet during French election campaigns. The proposed laws was adopted by the National Assembly on 3 July but later rejected by the Senate on 26 July.

Further information:

President Macron stated he intend to put forward legislation aimed at regulating social media platforms during election periods 'in order to protect democracy'. This could include further transparency about sponsored content, by introducing the need for websites to declare who finances them. The amounf of money for sponsored content could also be capped. For fake news published during election seasons, an emergency legal action could allow authorities to remove that content or even block the website, Mr Macron said.

The President also said he wanted to act against what he called 'propaganda articulated by thousands of social media accounts'.

The draft laws were subject to criticism at the National Assembly due to concerns over its effectiveness and potential effect on free speech. The Senate ultimately rejected the proposed legislation for these same reasons.

During the election campaign in spring 2017, Macron was the subject of various fake news stories about alleged offshore accounts. He filed a legal complaint after these stories were used against him during the campaign ahead of the presidential election.

Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
EUObserver, 10.01.18: Macron was right: democracy must tame the internet https://euobserver.com/opinion/140485
Euro|topics, January 2018: Macron declares war on fake news https://www.eurotopics.net/en/192043/macron-declares-war-on-fake-news
Bloomberg, 14.02.18: France's 'Fake News' Law Won't Work https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-02-14/fake-news-france-s-proposed-law-won-t-work
TIME, 07.06.18: France Is Voting on a Law Banning Fake News. Here’s How it Could Work http://time.com/5304611/france-fake-news-law-macron/
Library of Congress: France: Senate Rejects ‘Fake News Ban’ Bills http://www.loc.gov/law/foreign-news/article/france-senate-rejects-fake-news-ban-bills/
The Local (France), 04.06.18: Could France's fake news law be used to silence critics? https://www.thelocal.fr/20180604/could-frances-fake-news-law-be-used-to-silence-critics
Foreign Policy, 29.05.18: Macron’s Fake News Solution Is a Problem https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/05/29/macrons-fake-news-solution-is-a-problem/
RT, 21.11.18: Welcome to dictatorship? What lies behind France's controversial 'fake news' law https://on.rt.com/9j1c
The Conversation, 11.06.18: The legal fight against ‘fake news’ must not veer into censorship https://theconversation.com/debate-the-legal-fight-against-fake-news-must-not-veer-into-censorship-98049
Mathias Avocats: The French fight against fake news https://www.avocats-mathias.com/actualites/fake-news-french-bill

The Guardian, 03.01.18: Emmanuel Macron promises ban on fake news during elections https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/03/emmanuel-macron-ban-fake-news-french-president
BBC News, 04.01.18: Macron vows law against fake news http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-42560688
EUObserver, 04.01.18: Macron vows law against fake news https://euobserver.com/justice/140450
Politico, 03.01.18: Macron proposes new law against fake news https://www.politico.eu/article/macron-proposes-new-law-against-fake-news/
Euronews, 03.01.18: Macron announces new law against 'fake news' http://www.euronews.com/2018/01/03/macron-announces-new-law-against-fake-news-
EurActiv, 04.01.18: Macron targets Russian fake news, moving ahead of Commission plans http://www.euractiv.com/section/digital/news/macron-targets-russian-fake-news-ahead-of-commission-initiative/
EurActiv, 11.06.18: Fake news law on the back-burner in France https://www.euractiv.com/section/elections/news/fake-news-on-the-back-burner-in-france/
Politico, 04.07.18: French Parliament passes law against ‘fake news' https://www.politico.eu/article/french-parliament-passes-law-against-fake-news/
The Guardian, 08.06.18: French MPs criticise 'hasty and ineffective' fake news law https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/07/france-macron-fake-news-law-criticised-parliament
Bloomberg, 06.06.18: Macron Plans to Fight Fake News With This Law https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-06/macron-fake-news-bill-shows-challenges-of-misinformation-fight
Sputnik International, 08.06.18: French MPs Assail 'Anti-Fake News Law' https://sptnkne.ws/hHNN

France: National Assembly, No 772: Proposition de Loi Organique relative à la lutte contre les fausses informations http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/15/propositions/pion0772.asp
France: National Assembly, No 799: Proposition de Loi Organique relative à la lutte contre les fausses informations http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/15/propositions/pion0799.asp
Government of France: News, 07.06.18: Fake news: a bill to combat the manipulation of information https://www.gouvernement.fr/en/fake-news-a-bill-to-combat-the-manipulation-of-information

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