French Pres. Calls for Law Against Fake News, Spurs Free Speech Fears

January 15, 2018
OAN Newsroom

France’s President Emmanuel Macron is ordering a law to foil efforts to disseminate false information during electoral campaigns.

In a New Years speech to journalists, Macron said he is ordering a new “legal arsenal” whereby news outlets must reveal their owners and where their money comes from.

The new law could see a cap on money to produce content, and allow emergency actions to block websites.

French regulators could suspend media controlled or influenced by foreign powers.

Russian outlets like RT and Sputnik, whose coverage was seen as favoring Conservative candidate Marine Le Pen, could be censored.

Media freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders is also watching.

Secretary General of Reporters without Borders Christophe Deloire talks to the Associated Press in Paris, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. French President Emmanuel Macron’s plan for a law against false information around election campaigns is drawing criticism from media advocates, tech experts and others. They say it’s impossible to enforce and smacks of methods used by authoritarians, not democracies. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

“We are not opposed to the principle of a law against fake news, but the point is to be able to write a law without endangering the freedom to reveal things about political, social, and economical life,” said Christophe Deloire, Secretary General for Reporters Without Borders.

Some fear banning fake news will backfire on human rights grounds, because there is no legal definition on the term.

Government shutdowns of websites may also have unintended effects, such as satirists and journalists being accidentally targeted.

56 Comments on "French Pres. Calls for Law Against Fake News, Spurs Free Speech Fears"

  1. Comanche457 | January 18, 2018 at 5:25 pm |

    Somehow many of the American people have come to think that the news is supposed to be entertaining. WRONG!!!. The news is supposed to be about reporting truthful, unbiased fact. Kind of like going to the mail box every day to get your bills. Not fun for anybody but is part of daily life. I for one am tired of the news smearing our polticians and police. Perhaps some of our politicians deserve it but our police DO NOT. They and the military are the ones that are going to save our butts when the time comes. They are not there to cater to us in our every wish. That is what we are supposed to do.

  2. Comanche457 | January 17, 2018 at 4:00 pm |

    IF you look into different areas of the law lying is a criminal act. So it should be with the press. There are too many dummies in this world that blindly follow what the press puts out. If the press cannot or will not police themselves, WE HAVE TO. There is no infringement of the presses rights by requiring them to report the truth.

  3. What you say can be true, if and only, if one is deeply steeped in history. Sadly the media has become an advocate for unprincipled who lack appropriate knowledge to make informed decisions. They get it from Facebook or the like.

  4. Sounds like censorship to me.

  5. Robert Johnson | January 16, 2018 at 9:43 am |

    hold people accountable for slanderous lies….

  6. New organizations must be held accountable to what they post. They are supposed to be presenting facts, not their biased opinion and fake narratives….

  7. I hate to point out to you that the problem today is ignoring the fact that our enemies (read democrats) are using the system to cause problems by blatantly lying and publishing propaganda and our judicial bench has been so polluted with ignorant judges they don’t know what is constitutional and what is not.

    The media has been forced to fulfill their obligations in the past and it was legal, it can be implemented again. Read some history.

  8. This just shows how smart our President is, now the other leaders of countries are starting to catch on. CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC and others are the reason this is being debated. If it is made into law they will have brought it on themselves. Tell me, what will the liberals do without fake news?

  9. In my view, all of this ‘fake news’ mess could be solved if it was simply required to put a source to any piece of new (including facebook etc.). That newspapers and other can protect their sources is a super highway to “fake news’. What ever happened to our precious notion of accountability?

    No government should ever ever ever be able to decide what is “fake news”.

  10. nfcapitalist | January 16, 2018 at 5:55 am |

    When censorship is made lawful for good reasons it will be used for bad reasons… leave it to the citizens to expose the liars.

  11. With rights comes responsibilities. The majority of media hide behind the rights and avoid their responsibilities. Both subjects were taught in journalism school but have been eliminated. Time to instill those precepts once again by any means necessary.

    • nfcapitalist | January 16, 2018 at 5:57 am |

      Nope… not censorship by any means necessary.

    • Floridastorm | January 16, 2018 at 6:15 am |

      Unfortunately, the owners of these media outlets, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NYT, WAPO, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, etc., etc. are running the show. They are all hard leftists and they simply set the agenda for their outlets. The journalist have to go along to get along if they want to have a job. Just like in Hollyweird, if you want to work you don’t let anyone know that you are not a leftist, Socialist, or Communist. I had read that there are actually more closet Conservatives and Republicans in Hollyweird than Leftists and Democraps. I would imagine it may be the same for the news media. It’s truly unnerving that a few billionaire owners can control the entire network of communication in this country with propaganda, lies, obfuscation, biased reporting, and advocacy for leftist causes. In the Constitution, within the 1st Amendment, the news media was extended special protection above and beyond free speech only. I think that a class action lawsuit, naming the News Media as the target for not living up to the tenets of the Constitution and 1st Amendment, could possibly force them to drastically change their way of doing business.

  12. Robert Johnson | January 16, 2018 at 3:30 am |

    If it’s real news that’s never a problem, but when they twist the facts and outright lie to serve their agenda it’s no longer news,but becomes leftist propaganda!

  13. Another evil liberal attempt at silencing the truth and the opposition.

  14. Burrito Jackson | January 16, 2018 at 12:05 am |

    France, Germany, and England are conspiring with social media to cut out all free speech.

    • nfcapitalist | January 16, 2018 at 6:02 am |

      Canada too… this is the first step… see the USSR and PRC, children turning in their parents for speaking what the government told them were lies.

  15. If you can’t understand the difference between “fake news” and “freedom of speech” you may be the problem.

    • The only problem with that is who makes that determination. When Obama was president, he wanted to outlaw all outlets for what he termed fake news. That meant anyone that dared to oppose the official propaganda story that was put out. My personal feeling is that when you have organizations like MSNBC or CNN that literally make up stories or edit video to change the meanings, these sorts of organizations should have their license to broadcast pulled.

      • I think you’ve pretty well described what “fake news” is and while I understand your question (and agree with it) one can, and should, shoot for the stars occasionally.

        • nfcapitalist | January 16, 2018 at 6:06 am |

          Censorship is the first freedom for a reason we as free people don’t see as important … until you look at what happened in Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s USSR, and Mao’s PRC.

  16. base their Licenses on accuracy and facts
    and restrict opinion From the News
    and place it in a well advertised section stated as Opinion

  17. Reality Junkie | January 15, 2018 at 7:59 pm |

    Can we get a copy of that sent here to the US, it might come in handy.

  18. Dane Parker | January 15, 2018 at 7:48 pm |

    I thought Trump was Enemy No. 1 on the United Federation of Journalists’ list or whatever-the-hell voted on the worst press oppressor.

  19. Comanche457 | January 15, 2018 at 6:44 pm |

    The news should be truthful and verifiable. Any thing else is akin to or a lie.

  20. So ……. Is the president of France who actually wants to establish laws for fake news taking as much heat as Trump is for just telling it like it is?

    • Dane Parker | January 15, 2018 at 7:55 pm |

      No, because for him anything shy of praising the EU, glorifying immigration, or actively drawing attention away from Islamic terrorism is fake news.

  21. All American | January 15, 2018 at 5:28 pm |

    Every Journalist and News Agency should be held to strict ethical standards!
    Of great concern is propaganda, lies, deceit, demeaning public figures that cause division and chaos.
    When ethical standards are compromised there should be public fines and the agency or agent list should be made public. Period.

  22. This idea to have “news outlets must reveal their owners and where their money comes from” is GOLDEN. The US should implement these requirements for news transparency asap.

  23. ..except that, ahem..all news is fake slanted-ass bullsh-t.

  24. littlepeaks | January 15, 2018 at 3:05 pm |

    Some fear banning fake news will backfire on human rights grounds, because there is no legal definition on the term.

    I’m sure news organizations and others will figure, based on experience, what gets banned and what doesn’t.

  25. Lt Bil Drat | January 15, 2018 at 2:15 pm |

    France surrenders about every few decades any way. I guess it’s the mooslimes turn to march in the shade on The Avenue des Champs-Élysées like the Nazis did and previously the 2nd Reich.

  26. “Anonymous sources” should be banned. If you want to put out a big story, name your source or be quiet

  27. I do like the idea of these News Organizations being required to release information on their ownership and funding sources . That alone will shed a lot of light on their credibility . Always follow the Money ……. But now that France is basically Muslim , Macron will have to clear it with the Supreme Imam first .

  28. Lenny Woodson | January 15, 2018 at 1:21 pm |

    A glimmer of intelligence. Every once in a while.

  29. The communists are always trying to hide the truth….

    • "I'm a Rooster!" | January 16, 2018 at 7:54 am |

      I didn’t see this coming from an ultra-liberal country. Soros’ head must have exploded just now.

  30. The News Media are America’s enemy… they are liars, provocateurs, and it’s hard to see daylight between them and those trying to bring down this greatest nation.

    • Enormous number of scandals in U.S., but MSM not covering. They prove they are an enemy of the right and a pawn of the Left.

  31. Slowpoke the Cruiser | January 15, 2018 at 12:42 pm |

    Real journalists knw how to create news stories: with researchable citations. Can’t do that – fake.

  32. andrew moore | January 15, 2018 at 12:39 pm |

    When the liberals complain about how AR15’s were not available back in the days when the 2nd amendment of the Constitution was written so they should not be protected under it, I usually bring up the pesky little fact that radio, tv, and magazines were also not around either and by their liberal logic freedom of the press in radio, tv, and magazines under the 1st amendment of the Constitution should then also not be protected…..then I stand back and watch them become triggered and their little heads explode trying to justify their hypocrisy….Each and every time it always comes back to their one simple minded and shallow argument….”but radio, tv, and magazines have never killed anyone….Which is when I point out that their argument is then not about AR15’s but rather people dying and point out that more people in the USA are killed in car accidents each year than by AR15’s….so why are they not trying to ban cars…That usually really gets them triggered.

  33. RobertBierce | January 15, 2018 at 12:21 pm |

    True News reports the Facts; Fake News reports Opinions. Opinions, by their very nature, are
    subjective, and extreme subjectivity is Propaganda. Making a law is a good idea, even if it only
    makes media think twice about what they publish.

  34. ref: ‘Fake News’, as ‘Ethics’! One either possesses some level of Decorum or Not!
    The Dems have degenerated to ‘finding fault’ with ‘one word utterances’!
    President Trump in his Pioneering Use of ‘Twitter’, often ‘shoots fro, the hip, but is rendered almost No Slack in his phrasing!

  35. landy fincannon | January 15, 2018 at 11:48 am |

    Then make a law against not fulfilling campaign promises.

    • landy fincannon | January 15, 2018 at 11:51 am |

      Although my suggestion will not happen. His is a distinct possibility.

    • andrew moore | January 16, 2018 at 6:56 am |

      So what are you to do when the opposition side forces your campaign promise to stall? What about all the obstructionism we are seeing against the Trump administration? Should we hold the promiser accountable of the obstuctionists?

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