March 20, 2018

France's Macron Says He Wants Law To Combat Fake News

12 January 2018, 07:16 | Opal Carroll

President Emmanuel Macron during his New Year's Eve address France24 screengrab

President Emmanuel Macron during his New Year's Eve address                  France24 screengrab

French President Emmanuel Macron will propose new rules cracking down on fake news during elections this year, he said in an annual speech to the press today.

While Macron didn't mention any names this time, he particularly singled out RT and Sputnik throughout his election campaign and presidency, repeatedly slandering the Russian outlets as "deceitful propaganda" entities and accusing both of spreading "disinformation" about him.

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

During an election, the government would be authorized to block a website to suppress fake news, he said.

According to the Elysee, Macron will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on January 9 after visiting the ancient imperial capital of Xi'an.

The new law would require that websites reveal their financial backers.

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France's audiovisual regulator will see its powers boosted to better allow it to "fight any destabilization attempt by television channels controlled or influenced by foreign states", he added.

According to the new law, websites would have to say who is financing them and the amount of money for sponsored content would be capped.

France's Emmanuel Macron declared 2018 "a decisive year" and said cooperation between France and Germany is necessary for Europe to become economically stronger and be a global leader on equal footing with China and the United States.

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

Over in the U.S., under mounting political pressure on the issue, Facebook has already said it will increase transparency around political advertising on its platform by requiring ads to include a disclosure stating which page paid for an ad and also give users the ability to visit the advertiser's page to see all the ads they're now running to any audience on Facebook.

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