French President Announces New Legislation to Fight False Press News

Emmanuel Macron

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President Emmanuel Macron will meet his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Paris on January 5 to discuss bilateral relations as well as the Middle East issues, according to French president's office.

While Theresa May has warned social media giants to shape up or face fines, France, Germany and Ireland are instituting new laws to target fake news.

He also said France would become more strict in its immigration policies with more controls, without providing details. Macron's office said the French leader underscored that "fundamental rights including freedom of expression and freedom to demonstrate must be respected". He said authorities may be granted emergency legal powers to remove content or block "fake news" websites.

"There will be increased transparency requirements for internet platforms regarding sponsored content, with the aim of making public the identity of those who place the ads and also limiting the amount of them", Macron said. "If we want to protect liberal democracies, we must have strong legislation".

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The 40-year-old president said Russian outlets RT (formerly known as Russia Today) and Sputnik published "defamatory untruths" and "deceitful propaganda" in a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin following the vote.

While much has been made of so-called "fake news" in the USA following the 2016 presidential campaign, a study published this week revealed the false news stories, even those spread wildly on social media platforms, had "little impact" on those exposed to them and likely did little or nothing in terms of influencing the outcome of the elections.

He has been particularly critical of Russian media, openly accusing it of spreading lies about him on websites and social media.

The French citizens become more optimistic about the future compared to the last eight years.

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