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Macron announces ‘fake news’ law

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BERLIN, May 15, 2017 (Xinhua) -- Visiting French President Emmanuel Macron attends a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (not seen in the picture) in Berlin, capital of Germany, on May 15, 2017. (Xinhua/Shan Yuqi/IANS) by .
French President Emmanuel Macron (Xinhua/Shan Yuqi/IANS)

Macron vows fake news ban during elections; said he would shortly present the new law in order to fight the spread of fake news on the internet during election campaigns in the country….reports Asian Lite News

Macron, who beat the far-right Marine Le Pen to win 2017’s election, said he wanted new legislation for social media platforms during election periods “in order to protect democracy.”(Xinhua/IANS)

French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to introduce a law to ban fake news on the internet during election campaigns in the country, the media reported.

Macron, who beat the far-right Marine Le Pen to win 2017’s election, said he wanted new legislation for social media platforms during election periods “in order to protect democracy.”

In his New Year’s speech to journalists at the Elysee Palace, Macron said he would shortly present the new law in order to fight the spread of fake news which, he said, threatened liberal democracies.

New legislation for websites would include more transparency about sponsored content. Under the new law, websites would have to say who is financing them and the amount of money for sponsored content would 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, Macron said.

“If we want to protect liberal democracies, we must be strong and have clear rules,” he added.

He said French media watchdog, the CSA, would be empowered to fight against “any attempt at destabilisation” by TV stations controlled or influenced by foreign states, reports the media.

Macron said he wanted to act against what he called “propaganda articulated by thousands of social media accounts”.

During the election campaign in 2017, Macron was the subject of various fake news stories about alleged offshore accounts.

He filed a legal complaint after Le Pen, the Front National leader, referred to stories about him placing funds in an offshore account in the Bahamas.

At the time, Macron’s political movement, En Marche, called Le Pen’s statements a “textbook case” of fake news.

Le Pen attacked Macron’s plan for a ban on fake news, tweeting that France was “muzzling its citizens”.

She asked: “Who will decide if a piece of news is fake? Judges? The government?”

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