Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

French president announces 'fake news' law

French president announces 'fake news' law

The French president is pushing a new law that could see social media firms face tougher sanctions.

Details of the bill will be released in the coming weeks, he said, but he told reporters that media would be forced to reveal all sponsors of their content among other measures to boost transparency.

This would allow agreements allowing such channels to operate in France to be "suspended or cancelled", also taking into account the content they publish online, he said.

Speaking at a news conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Wednesday, Macron said such a law was essential, especially during elections.

The French leader also promised to press ahead with economic and social reforms at the same fast pace since his election in May, including a change in French laws to push toward more gender equality.

However, there is sure to be a backlash from those who believe that the media should be free from political control.

Turkish Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said at a press conference on January 4 that Macron's remarks are based on a "lack of information", if not "prejudice".

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The French legislation is yet to be finalised, but deciding on what is or is not fake news is bound to be the main problem.

The formula of the speech was largely in keeping with the one favoured by many of his predecessors, despite speculation Mr Macron would seek to shake up France's New Year presidential rite of passage too.

Since becoming president he has also accused one Russian Federation channel of sowing disinformation about him via its website.

A French journalist, Loup Bureau, who was detained in a Turkish prison for more than seven weeks on "terror" charges, returned to France in September after Macron appealed to Erdoğan for his release.

The EU has launched anaction committee to draft rules at combatting fake news, but no legislation iscurrently in place.

French president vows to press on with drive for more integration.

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