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French lawmakers vote for bills on ‘fake news’ during election campaigns

French lawmakers on Wednesday adopted two bills to prevent the spread of false information during election campaigns. The “fake news” bills enable a candidate or political party to seek a court injunction preventing the publication of “false information” during the three months leading up to a national election, AFP reports. France’s broadcasting authority will also have the power to take any network that is “controlled by, or under the influence of a foreign power” off the air if it “deliberately spreads false information that could alter the integrity of the election.” The opposition has criticized the bills as an attempt to create a “thought police,” saying that a law dating back to 1881 already protects politicians and other citizens against defamation.