Macron to plan law to fight fake news on the Net

French President Emmanuel Macron has proposed legislation to clamp down on fake news

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The president was victim of a fake news smear attack himself just prior to France's presidential election previous year, with genuine leaked emails being leaked out mixed up with false information that painted him in a bad light.

France's president has said he plans to introduce new legislation aimed at curbing the spread of online fake news during election periods. It would allow a judge to order the deletion of some content, close a user's account or block access to a website.

Macron said he and his team were the victims of fake news and serious fraud during the campaign a year ago.

Months after the US election, which top American intelligence officials agree was manipulated by Russian Federation, accusations began to surface that Moscow was trying to influence France's presidential election.

Paris: French President Emmanuel Macron Wednesday expressed his concern over unrest in Iran during a telephone conversation with counterpart Hassan Rouhani and called for "restraint and appeasement", his office said.

The President said there would also be strict "limits on the amount" of sponsored content, and more power would be given to the CSA, France's media watchdog.

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The proposals also were met with caution from the center-left Le Monde newspaper - one of France's biggest and most influential outlets -which noted that France already has legislation from 1881 that fines any publication that puts out fake news "made in bad faith".

"If we want to protect liberal democracies, we have to be strong and have clear rules".

In November, UK Prime Minister Theresa May also directly accused Russian Federation of seeking to meddle in the democratic affairs of other nations by planting fake stories in the media to try to sow discord in the West by "weaponizing information".

He came out strongly in support of press freedom and said that it is the "highest expression of freedom".

The televised New Year's speech was the 40-year-old president's first year-end address following his electoral victory in May.

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