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France says anti-fake news election law incoming

France says anti-fake news election law incoming
From TechCrunch - January 4, 2018

Frances president has said he plans to introduce new legislation aimed at curbing the spread of online fake news during election periods.

Concern about how social media platforms are being misappropriated to channel and amplifydisinformation has rocketed up the political agenda in recent years, most especially in the wake of the 2016 US presidential election and as more details have emerged about theextent of Russian-backed online content meddling.

Speaking at a media briefing yesterday, Emmanuel Macron told journalists:In election times content on the Internet will have to follow slightly different rules. As you know, propagating fake news on social media only requires a few tens of thousands of euros and can be done with total anonymity. (via The Guardian)

Macron was himself the target of attempted online smear campaigns ahead of his election last year. Including after hackersleaked campaign emails hours ahead of the vote, mixing some genuine emails with fake info such as false claims he was operating off-shore accounts in the Cayman Islands in an attempt to impact his electoral chances.

He said the planned legislation will impose stricter transparency requirements on online platforms vis-a-vis advertiser content during election periodsby making it a requirement that advertisers identity be made public.

He also suggested there will be caps on the amount of money that can be spent on sponsored content during these periods.

Over in the US, under mounting political pressureon the issue, Facebook has already said it will increase transparency around political advertising on its platform by requiring ads to include adisclosure stating which page paid for an ad and also give users the ability to visit the advertisers page to see all the ads theyre currently running to any audience on Facebook.

According to The Guardian, an emergency legal action in the planned French legislation could allow authorities to remove content or even block a websitea measure that would doubtless prove controversial.

If we want to protect liberal democracies, we must be strong and have clear rules, Macron is quoted as saying.If we want to protect liberal democracies, we must be strong and have clear rules,

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