Fake News and International Law

  • In light of current efforts at addressing the dangers of fake news, this article will revisit the international law relevant to the phenomenon, in particular the prohibition of intervention, the 1936 International Convention on the Use of Broadcasting in the Cause of Peace, and the 1953 Convention on the International Right of Correction. It will be argued that important lessons can be learned from the League of Nations’ (LON) efforts in the interwar period and the UN’s activities in the immediate post-WWII era, while taking into account the new challenges that arise from modern communication technology. Taking up the LON’s and UN’s distinction between false and distorted news, the international legal framework will be tested, in particular, against the coverage of the 2016 ‘Lisa case’ by Russian Government-funded media. This coverage is widely considered to be fake news aimed at destabilizing Germany’s society and institutions. The article argues that false news can be subject to repressive regulation in aIn light of current efforts at addressing the dangers of fake news, this article will revisit the international law relevant to the phenomenon, in particular the prohibition of intervention, the 1936 International Convention on the Use of Broadcasting in the Cause of Peace, and the 1953 Convention on the International Right of Correction. It will be argued that important lessons can be learned from the League of Nations’ (LON) efforts in the interwar period and the UN’s activities in the immediate post-WWII era, while taking into account the new challenges that arise from modern communication technology. Taking up the LON’s and UN’s distinction between false and distorted news, the international legal framework will be tested, in particular, against the coverage of the 2016 ‘Lisa case’ by Russian Government-funded media. This coverage is widely considered to be fake news aimed at destabilizing Germany’s society and institutions. The article argues that false news can be subject to repressive regulation in a sensible manner. Distorted news, however, will have to be tolerated legally, since prohibitions in this regard would be too prone to abuse. A free and pluralist media, complemented by an appropriate governmental information policy, remains the best answer to fake news in all its forms. Due diligence obligations to fact-check, transparency, and remedies that are effective despite difficulties in attribution, and despite a lack of universal acceptance, could likewise be conducive.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Björnstjern BaadeGND
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus4-422383
DOI:https://doi.org/10.25932/publishup-42238
ISSN:2509-3770
ISSN:2509-3762
Parent Title (English):KFG Working Paper Series
Series (Serial Number):KFG Working Paper Series (18)
Document Type:Working Paper
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2018/09/24
Year of Completion:2018
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2019/01/10
Issue:18
Pagenumber:23
Source:First publication of the paper: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3243345
Organizational units:Extern / Berlin Potsdam Research Group "The International Rule of Law - Rise or Decline?"
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 34 Recht / 340 Recht
Peer Review:Nicht referiert
Licence (German):License LogoKeine Nutzungslizenz vergeben - es gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht