In its yearly report on the state of information consumption, the Italian communication authority (AGCOM) wrote that 2017 was “characterised by the rise of ‘fake news’ as a structural phenomenon within the media landscape.” According to a survey conducted by AGCOM, some 54 percent of Italian citizens claimed to access news through social platforms and algorithms. Interestingly, among the latter, only 24 percent defined the sources as “reliable.” In another survey, conducted by Demost, one out of two Italian citizens said they believed a story that turned out to be fake news on the internet. An analysis conducted by the Italian security service Department of Information Security (DIS) raised concerns about information biases caused by fake news agents in the context of the upcoming general election on March 4. However, the Italian Minister of the Interior, Marco Minniti, recently said that there is no concrete risk in sight.
In France, the debate surrounding Emmanuel Macron’s proposal to develop a law against fake news continues to make the headlines. On Feb. 13, the French Minister of Culture, Françoise Nyssen, announced that the law will enable public authorities to suspend the activities of media that are judged to act “under the influence of foreign powers,” and make space for a special judicial procedure aimed at identifying fake news. Some critical commentaries relative to Nyssen’s proposal can be read on Le Monde, l’express, Slate.fr and Radio France International.
(Read the full article on Poynter, 28.02.2018)