Daniel Halliday
May 16 · Last update 2 mo. ago.

Should there be laws against fake news?

In an age where massive amounts of advertising revenue are generated through “clickbait” stories and headlines, while disinformation is actively spread on social media, fake news seems to have earned a permanent place in our modern lives. Misinformation has also seemingly undermined a number of democratic votes internationally, and even reputable news organisations and politicians have been caught spreading misinformation. However there has been no time when fake news has seemed as deadly as it does currently, when disinformation could potentially be undermining the fight against a global pandemic and leading to a further loss of life. In response to this there seems to be a growing call for laws against fake news and an increasing number of countries seem to be considering or putting in place legislation in the fight against fake news. These fake news laws are controversial, but do they even work? Are they the answer to misinformation? Or a dangerous development in modern society? bbc.com/future/article/20200406-why-smart-people-believe-coronavirus-myths
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No – Its censorship and a very dark path
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No – Its censorship and a very dark path

Although marketed and communicated as legislation against misinformation, fake news laws would enable more countries to restrict media and make arbitrary designations of what could and could not be said. Furthermore such laws would be impossible to regulate, news stories often evolve as we find out about them it would make journalism and free speech online impossible, and tend to lead to misuse for the benefit of the accuser, authority or leaders, silencing critics and whistleblowers. To achieve the goal of eradicating the effectiveness of fake news, education would be a much more tenable long-term option, fake news laws are just repressive and short sighted.

newrepublic.com/article/147364/verboten-germany-law-stopping-hate-speech-facebook-twitter hrw.org/report/2015/10/26/creating-culture-fear/criminalization-peaceful-expression-malaysia

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Daniel Halliday
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