In the press conference, Emmanuel Macron announced that restricting the presence of fake news online was essential to French democracy, andadded:
“As you know, propagating fake news on social media these days only demands a couple of tens of thousands of euros, and can be done while remaining completely anonymous.”
While it is true that you can spend tens of thousands of euros, fake news can easily be spread with no money whatsoever. All it takes on social media is for a post to go viral, in which case there is no need to sponsor the posts at all.
In order to achieve better public information, Macron wants to make transparency about who operates and runs news websites compulsory (if it sponsors content on social media), and give judges the possibility to completely delete content. His proposed bill will only apply for election periods, during which he says that public opinion should be fuelled by facts, not false information. This restriction was due to the “#MacronLeaks” which happened shortly before the second round of France’s presidential election in May last year. Thousands of emails of Macron’s staffers had been leaked on 4Chan and led to wild accusations.
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