Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Law Library of Congress Reports on Countering “Fake News”

The Law Library of Congress in Washington has recently produced two reports on what various countries are doing to address the spread of disinformation using mass and social media.

As the Library writes on its In Custodia Legis blog:
"Potential methods for countering the spread of disinformation in cyberspace, however, may pose challenges to basic principles in democratic societies, including the right to freedom of expression, and the right to privacy, as well as rules regarding transparency and oversight of government actions, among others."
The first report is entitled Initiatives to Counter Fake News in Selected Countries:
"This report examines the legal approaches of fifteen countries, representing all regions of the world, to the emerging problem of manipulation with 'fake news' using mass and social media, especially the impact of fake news on ongoing political processes and elections, and the legislative measures undertaken to counteract the dissemination of false information. Fake news as a phenomenon is not new and has been known since ancient times, but the present-day proliferation of digital and social media platforms, which allow for much broader distribution of information to a global audience, makes the need to counter fake news much more acute. With the exception of Japan, which appears to be the only country in this study where fake news scandals are limited to newspapers and tweeted messages that have no outside influence, a fact explained by the difficulty of the Japanese language for foreigners, the widespread distribution of false information and its impact on decision making and democratic processes is becoming a challenge worldwide."
The second report is Limits on Freedom of Expression:
"This report examines the scope of protection extended to freedom of speech in thirteen selected countries. In particular, the report focuses on the limits of protection that may apply to the right to interrupt or affect in any other way public speech. The report also addresses the availability of mechanisms to control foreign broadcasters working on behalf of foreign governments."


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:28 pm


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