FRANCE — French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday called on internet users to be more vigilant and cautioned against “fake news.”
In a video posted on Twitter, Macron said he is working on a law to protect French citizens’ rights to access the internet and said he has ordered a task force to study the issue.
He said that in some cases, “fake stories” spread through social media are “the result of a lack of trust between the news media and their audience.”
The law, Macron wrote, is called “Internet Regulation” and aims to create an environment in which the public has the right to access news, but also “to defend their right to free speech.”
Macron said that the law will “ensure that we can prevent fake news, which is spreading on the Internet.”
Macron’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Wednesday, the French government announced it would take a tougher stance against online harassment and trolls, and announced plans to create a taskforce on the issue, including the creation of an independent watchdog.
The French government has been grappling with a rising number of hate crimes targeting ethnic and religious minorities, as well as online harassment against politicians.
Last year, France saw the deadliest wave of hate crime in decades, with more than 5,000 attacks, according to the Interior Ministry.