The law aiming to prevent the spread of false information and propaganda during the election period by empowering judges to order the immediate removal of “fake news” during election campaigns. In conformity with the given law, candidates and political parties are now able to appeal to a judge to help stop “false information” during the three months before an election. A strategic analysis on the law can be found here.
Proposed Organic Law Against Manipulation of Information, No. 772; and Proposed Bill on the Fight Against the Manipulation of Information, No. 799). The bills cover four main points:
- The introduction of a new interlocutory proceedings enabeling judges to take proportionate and necessary measures against internet service providers and hosts to stop the spread of inaccurate or misleading allegations or imputations of a fact;
- The granting of new powers to the French Audiovisual Council, to be able to prevent, suspend or terminate the broadcasting of television services controlled by a foreign state in the event of an infringement of the French state’s fundamental interests;
- The introduction of an obligation upon internet hosts and service providers to allow users to bring to their attention information they believe to be fake and to alert public authorities;
- An obligation to ensure transparency in the relationship between online platform operators and the advertisers for whom they act.
In July 2019, the Assemblée nationale seemed to follow Germany’s footsteps in tabling a law against online hate speech, which aimed to require digital platforms to address content that is “manifestly unlawful on grounds of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability” within 24 hours. The controversial law known as the Avia Law was ultimately found to be largely unconstitutional by France’s highest court, the Conseil Constitutionnel, in June of 2020. Read more from Politico.