As from February, lies told by politicians will face lawsuits in France, when the law against fake news comes into force.
The treaty signed between French and Germany in Aachen this week might not make history. But it’s still a big step towards a deeper EU integration.
When I was asked to report about what the media thought about it in France, it was a difficult task: the project barely got any media attention. But the fake news around the treaty did: the video underlining that France was about to give back Moselle and Alsace to Germany had tons of views.
On Google, a research with key words “fake news + Aachen” will give you 1,5 million hits, “Aachen treaty” only a third of that.
This shows the European election campaign is kicking off. French ministry for finance Bruno Le Maire punched hard on Marine Le Pen for lying so bluntly about the Aachen treaty.
“Marine Le Pen has insulted our history. When you do so, you do not reserve to lead France”, he hammered out.
But her campaign leader, young Jordan Bardella, claimed that National Rally had the right to have a different point of view about the treaty.
National Rally party is deliberately blurring the line between facts and opinions to legitimise the lies. And it’s definitely complicated to tell white from black in politics. That’s exactly what French judges soon will be asked to do.
France has passed a new law last year, in an effort to fight fake news by suing its authors.
A judge should be able to assess rapidly what is fake and not, but only during a tight time-frame: three months before the 1st day of the election month. It means a “fake news-free” campaign should start in February.
This may deter lies for a while. But only if judges have some time for fake news- nothing could be less uncertain.