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Initiatives To Counter Fake News In Selected Countries

Initiatives To Counter Fake News In Selected Countries Author: Library Of Congress

Date Published: 2:02:13 PM Thursday, 9-July-2020

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. In 2017, a parliamentary committee in Egypt identified the dissemination of 53,000 false rumors over a period of two months. In Germany, 59% of survey participants stated that they had encountered fake news, and in some segments of the population this number was up to almost 80%. In Kenya, a country where 90% of the population has access to high-speed internet, 90% of surveyed users said that they received false or inaccurate information regarding the recent elections through social media.