Most French back law against 'fake news'

Nearly 80% support President Macron's plan to introduce law to combat false information during election campaigns

12 January 2018
Most people in France still rely on mainstream media for their news
By Connexion journalist

Nearly eight out of 10 people are in favour President Emmanuel Macron's plans to introduce laws to combat 'fake news' during election campaigns, a study has found.

A total 79% said that they were in favour of the plans, and agreed that "there is a need to make information on social networks and internet platforms more accountable", according to the survey, published in Le Figaro.

More than seven out of 10 respondents (71%) believed false information is a problem, and most considered a law to block it 'a good initiative'. That positive impression dropped among supporters of the Front National; a total 36% of the party's supporters said regarded it as a "bad initiative because it risks undermining freedom of expression".

The main source of information in France remains mainstream media sources - 78% of French people turn to recognised news outlets for their news. But bearly three in 10, meanwhile, admitted inadvertently forwarding 'fake news' stories on social networks - a figure that jumped to 46% among those who mostly receive their news from outside mainstream media sources. More than half of 18-24-year-olds use social networks or blogs to receive their news.

The online survey for Le Figaro questioned a representative sample of 1004 people, aged 18 or over.

In February's edition of Connexion, we will publish an article on 'fake news' and misinformation during the 2017 Presidential campaign - and how the French are well-equipped to spot it

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