French Lawmaker Compares Drafting Fake News Law to 'Walking on Razor's Edge'

CC0 / / Fake news
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PARIS (Sputnik) - The planned French law concerning the fight against fake news is extremely complicated and dangerous to draft, since it should maintain a balance between maintaining the freedom of the press and curbing the spread of fake news, Mireille Clapot, a lawmaker of the National Assembly told Sputnik.

"This law is like walking on a razor's edge: there is a danger on one side, there is a danger on the other side, and we have to make it between the two sides," the lawmaker said.

According to her, the draft law would aim to avoid "the distortion of the public opinion under the weight of 'fake news' that people believe in."

"This is not about finding 'a single possible truth' — this would threaten the freedom of journalists… There should be a pluralism of opinions. We know that some facts could be presented in one way or another, this is within the freedom of the press. But one should not lie to the people," Clapot stressed.

Asked who would determine which news is fake, the lawmaker said that she did not know yet how this would work and admitted that this was a "delicate" aspect.

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According to excerpts from the draft law published by media in March, the country's broadcasting watchdog Conseil superieur de l’audiovisuel (CSA) would have a broader authority over the operations of foreign media in France. RT broadcaster and Sputnik news agency, previously decried by Macron as outlets spreading fake news, were cited in the text.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced his plan to draft the law in January, stressing his wish to ban fake news during elections, in particular.

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