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.
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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:
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