Mar 22, 2017 02:38 PM EDT
Due to the onslaught of fake news proliferating on media, Academics, led by Professor Dan Svantesson, voiced out their desire for laws that will punish false news severely.
Professor Dan Svantesson, of Dan University in Sweden, told Lawyers Weekly about his proposal of countries to pass laws against fake news. He feared that due to the online nature of these news and how it is spread mainly through the internet that it is a global concern that should be dealt with.
Fake news has been a major concern especially in the United States. Though the phenomenon isn't new, it gained full attention when President Donald Trump started a massive campaign against fake news. Many academics fear that the proliferation of fake news online may affect public opinion in a massive scale, especially with the growing importance the internet has on daily life.
Moves to limit fake news have been done by the government already, the latest was former President Obama signing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in which it includes the Countering foreign propaganda and disinformation act, allowing penalties for spreading wrong information purposely.
Countries like Germany and Australia have passed legislation that will limit the proliferation of fake news. According to the Chicago Tribune, the first amendment, freedom of expression and speech are clearly protected in the condition that the speech is not obscene or threatening. Though this might be very broad but it is the intent of the amendment to protect expression itself. The first amendment is purposely made to prevent the government from repressing criticism coming from the people.
Because of this, fake news has been a real problem, even in the United States as the constitution does protect them unless it becomes a threat to peace and order. However, despite this, academics are bonding together to propose law that will curb fake news or limit it if the move will be deemed unconstitutional.
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