WhatsApp and Facebook are ‘reacting’ to curb fake news — some countries enact prohibitive laws
- Social networking companies like Google, Twitter and WhatsApp are initiating new measures to combat fake news in India ahead of the general election 2019.
- Other countries around the world have implemented stringent anti-fake news laws to monitor activity on social media platforms.
- These laws are often criticised for curbing the human right to freedom of speech.
While measures like the WhatsApp ‘tip line’ and the tagging electoral campaign posts is a step in the right direction, curbing fake news in India has mostly been a ‘reactive’ process so far — with social media giants jumping into action only when prompted by regulators.
Given that misinformation spreads so quickly, there are some countries -- such as Singapore and Malaysia -- that have put far more stringent laws in place to curb the menace. However, many of these steps have been strongly criticised for being a potential threat to free speech and an infringement on civil liberties.
In France, the law even backfired on the government when it resulted in Twitter blocking their voter registration camp. The company claims that since they couldn't find a way to obey the letter of the law, the decided to avoid any potential problems altogether.
Here’s a look at some recent laws on fake news around the world: