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Article 19: legal restrictions to “fake news” could be used to limit press freedom

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World News Publishing Focus
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Article 19: legal restrictions to “fake news” could be used to limit press freedom

According to Article 19, the negative impacts of false news are already partially addressed by existing laws on “defamation, legal provisions that protect the right to privacy, and laws on public order that allow police forces to control the possible consequences of public outrage”. Further legislation against “fake” news would, rather, have “a chilling effect upon the media”, as slight inaccuracies in reporting cannot be avoided.

Moreover, a “legal duty of truth” could create instruments that would determine what constitutes “truth” in public debate, thus providing a tool that could be exploited for censorship purposes.

Article 19 would instead focus on social media platforms and their power to provide visibility to news content, with the caveat that it should be treated as a “learning process”, and the initiatives should be “open, participatory and transparent”. 

Author

Teemu Henriksson's picture

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2016-11-29 13:45

Author information

The news publishing industry is experiencing transformation at an ever-growing pace, with new policy issues arising as the landscape changes.

We will be examining policy discussions that will define the news publishing environment of the future, the key topics being internet governance, privacy and copyright. Click here to learn more about our work.

WAN-IFRA Media Policy team and experts.


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