Russia Wants To Pass Fake News Law That Would Fine Social Networks $793,000

By Aaron Kesel

The infamous moniker “fake news” has been pushed since the 2016 election started by the current sitting U.S. President Donald Trump. Lawmakers all over the world are now seeking to trample on human rights in a bid to stop “fake news.”

Russia is the latest to propose draconian legislation to stop the spreading of “fake news.”

Russia has proposed the insane notion of fining social media companies. Under the new legislation, websites would be responsible for deleting inaccurate user comments, The New York Times reported.

If passed in Russian parliament, the new law would require websites with more than 100,000 daily visitors and a comment feature to remove inaccurate information posted by users within 24 hours of the post. If websites fail to comply, the sites could face a fine of up to 50 million rubles or ($793,000).

Artem Kozlyuk, the founder of anti-censorship site Roskomsvoboda, told The New York Times that although the bill is being packaged as a way to boost public safety and stem harmful misinformation, these types of efforts typically end the same way, with the “expansion of the government’s powers and censorship.”

Earlier this year, the Russian telecom regulator announced it was preparing a draft decree designed purely and simply to block all content that contains false information.

Since July 2016, content aggregators have been required to verify the veracity of reports that they publish if they do not come from media outlets registered in Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry has posted a new section on its official website dedicated to debunking fake anti-Russian news stories published by international news outlets.

Earlier this year, Malaysia passed a law that criminalized the spread of fake news that allows for a prison time of up to six years for offenders, while Egypt’s parliament recently approved legislation that will treat popular social media accounts and blogs as traditional media outlets putting more pressure on citizens.

Meanwhile, in the U.S. last month, the state of California proposed a bill to consider creating a “fake news” advisory group in order to monitor information posted and spread on social media, Activist Post reported.

Senate Bill 1424 would require the California Attorney General to create an advisory committee by April 1st, 2019. Further, the council would need to consist of at least one person from the Department of Justice, representatives from social media providers, civil liberties advocates, and First Amendment scholars.

The advisory group would be required to study how false information is spread online and come up with a plan for social media platforms to fix the problem. The Attorney General would then need to present that plan to the Legislature by December 31st, 2019. The group would also need to come up with criteria establishing what is “fake news” and what is just biased information.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation opposes the bill, calling it “flawed” and “misguided.” The group argues the measure would make the government and advisory group responsible for deciding what is true or false. It also points out the First Amendment prevents content-based restrictions, even if the statements are “admittedly false.”

In recent years (increasingly at a rapid rate in the last few months especially), we have seen a visible crackdown on freedom of speech in a number of countries seeking to silence political opinion and news including EgyptFranceGermanyIndonesiaBrazilItaly , SingaporePhilippinesRussia, India and of course China. (There still may be other countries missed at the time of this report, or further countries to add at a later time.)

Article 19, an organization formed in 1987 to defend free speech, stated in an article that “a number of countries around the world prohibit the dissemination of false information, even if it is not defamatory in nature.” It adds, however, that these laws against fake news are “rare in the more established democracies and have been ruled unconstitutional in some.”

The U.N. Human Rights Council has “reiterated that false news provisions ‘unduly limit the exercise of freedom of opinion and expression,” notes Article 19.

The U.N. council has upheld this even in cases of news that may cause public unrest, on grounds that “in all such cases, imprisonment as punishment for the peaceful expression of an opinion constitutes a serious violation of human rights.”

Activist Post and many other alternative news websites were included in an egregious list that labeled the alternative media “fake news” and propaganda following the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Activist Post later replied satirically by admitting to being Russian propaganda in a hilarious article.

Subsequently, there were certain provisions within the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act that enabled a move to criminalize ‘fake news, propaganda’ on the Web; it was covertly signed into law by former U.S. President Barrack Obama. It’s fact that Snopes wasn’t too happy with and disputed, personally attacking this reporter when I worked at We Are Change, failing to realize the story came from a sitting U.S. congressman.

Last year, a House of Representatives resolution H.RES. 191 by Democrats called for “opposing fake news and alternative facts.”

No matter what country you live in, or what your personal political beliefs are, as citizens we should all collectively agree that allowing our governments to tell us what is and isn’t propaganda or “fake news” is dangerous. It’s just one step closer to 1984, where a Ministry Of Truth is established like the one proposed in California decides what the public can and can’t view.

Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Minds, Steemit, SoMee, BitChute, Facebook and Twitter. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.


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3 Comments on "Russia Wants To Pass Fake News Law That Would Fine Social Networks $793,000"

  1. sick

  2. michael howard | July 26, 2018 at 4:09 am | Reply

    It was the people who fell short in maintaining their due diligence with regards to government powers.

    The people empowered government to steal from and kill their fellow countrymen, and many people around the world. With that power government grew.

    Now that government has reached it’s endstage everyone wants to fake outrage and disgust, towards the government. Yet always fail to acknowledge what failures for which the citizens hold responsibility. It’s very clear how very little has changed, and the citizens clamor on like it’s not insanity to keep doing the same things expecting different results.

    • Richard Olsen | July 26, 2018 at 4:46 pm | Reply

      You are right, and for that reason, the failure as the population grew, to pay attention to what those we elected, and to what those we elected appointed, were doing, resulted in the constitutional united states of America only existing for a few months less than 85 years. Even before the “founding fathers” had all passed from the scene the republic was on “life support” for most of its existence. It expired on March 27, 1861. Abraham Lincoln, the last person to be elected president while the constitution for the united states of America was the law that was supposed to control the conduct of the government, also became its first ruling monarch, or dictator if you prefer that title for a one person ruler. He, alone, using for the first time laws made by executive order, declared martial law, ordered the start of the War of Northern Aggression (improperly known as the Civil War by most), ordered the call up and federalizing of the state’s militias, and ordered a convening of a new “congress”. All of the foregoing, and much more, while knowingly having no lawful or constitutional authority to do so. The military dictatorship lasted from April 15, 1861 through February 22, 1871. Beginning in April of 1865, the defeated Confederate States of America were governed under a military occupation as an occupied country. The occupation was known as “Reconstruction”, but reconstructed nothing. The constitutional republic was established under a VOLUNTARY covenant (the constitution) under which the NATIONS gave up certain of the rights common to nations of the world, and ONLY those rights, and agreed to govern themselves under a republican form of government that respected the rights of the people consistent with the constitution. Because the “return” of the confederate states was NOT VOLUNTARY, the united states of America was NOT restored. What was created was a new form of government, covered by a charade republic in which every “president” continued to make “laws” by “executive order”, and later on by “signing statement”. On February 23, 1871 the government was converted into a private municipal corporation that continued the charade of being a republic. None of this is taught in the compulsory government schools, even though it is clearly documented in the Congressional Record, the executive orders, and the proceedings of the make-believe federal courts that enable the rule over us by force by a group having no lawful authority whatever to do so.

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