French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday said during his speech to a joint meeting of Congress that the world must “fight against the ever-growing virus of fake news.”
“To protect our democracies, we have to fight against the ever-growing virus of fake news, which exposes our people to irrational fear and imaginary risk,” Macron said. “And let me attribute for a copyright for fake news, especially here.”
“Without reason, without truce, there’s no real democracy,” he continued. “Because democracy is about true choices and rationale decisions. The corruption of information is an attempt to corrode the very spirit of our democracies.”
Macron: "We have to fight against the ever-growing virus of fake news… The corruption of information is an attempt to corrode the very spirit of our democracies." (via ABC) pic.twitter.com/pzQUl0fYrb
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 25, 2018
The Hill added:
In his speech, Macron appeared to be referring to false stories published on questionable online publications that attempt to appear legitimate in an attention to dupe voters with misinformation. President Trump has regularly used to the term “fake news” to attack traditional media outlets in the country like NBC and CNN.
Macron’s comments come on the same day Reporters Without Borders dropped the United States to No. 45 in its annual ranking of press freedom for 180 countries around the world, blaming President Trump and his “media bashing” for the second slide in two years.
“The United States, the country of the First Amendment, has fallen again in the Index under Donald Trump, this time two places to 45th,” the report says. “A media-bashing enthusiast, Trump has referred to reporters ‘enemies of the people,’ the term once used by Joseph Stalin.”
In January, Macron announced plans for a new law to combat fake news.
“Thousands of propaganda accounts on social networks are spreading all over the world, in all languages, lies invented to tarnish political officials, personalities, public figures, journalists,” Macron told the press on Jan. 3.
“We are going to develop our legal means of protecting democracy against fake news,” he added.