This week Beth and Kelly look into the issue of legislating fake news - is it a good idea? Most journalists say no - and so do we. Free speech is a pillar of democracy, and even if someone says something fake - or stupid - we don't believe the government should be making laws against it. This obviously does not include incitement of violence, which is not protected under free speech in America.
We begin with a discussion about Malaysia's new Anti Fake News Act, under which a Danish citizen was convicted and sentenced to one month in jail. Malaysia isn't the only country to attempt legislation of 'Fake News'; other countries have either proposed similar regulation or have laws that are a bit less stringent than the Malaysia's Anti-Fake News Act. Singapore, the Philippines, India, Kenya, France the UK, the US and many more have considered regulations around fake news content, both in social media and in journalism.
Human Rights Watch has urged Germany to reconsider their social media hate speech law, Das Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz (NetzDG), put into place earlier this year, and India withdrew their own fake news legislation after only 24 hours due to widespread outcry.
If you are interested in learning more about what countries around the world are currently doing in their fight against fake news you can check out the Poynter article we discussed in the show. We don't agree that legislation can fix this issue, and this article clearly points to why.
Beth and Kelly believe the best way to fight fake news is with consumer protections, such as libel and slander laws for those who are most affected, as well as boycotts of sources that continually promote fake news. Recent and past lawsuits against Alex Jones for spreading fake news are a great example. So are the consumer boycotts of advertiser's for shows like Laura Ingraham, which saw a 'scheduled break' after the host taunted Parkland survivor David Hogg for not getting into his preferred college. Just like a regular adult taunts a child, right?
So, use your money wisely and call out fake news when you see it, because we the people will be the ones to stop this.
Beth's Jam of the Week, Tame Impala's Elephant:
Kelly's Jam of the Week, Get Well Soon by Jennifer Wright:
A humorous book about history's worst plagues—from the Antonine Plague, to leprosy, to polio—and the heroes who fought them.
In 1518, in a small town in France, Frau Troffea began dancing and didn’t stop. She danced herself to her death six days later, and soon thirty-four more villagers joined her. Then more. In a month more than 400 people had died from the mysterious dancing plague. In late-nineteenth-century England an eccentric gentleman founded the No Nose Club in his gracious townhome—a social club for those who had lost their noses, and other body parts, to the plague of syphilis for which there was then no cure. And in turn-of-the-century New York, an Irish cook caused two lethal outbreaks of typhoid fever, a case that transformed her into the notorious Typhoid Mary and led to historic medical breakthroughs.
Throughout time, humans have been terrified and fascinated by the plagues they've suffered from. Get Well Soon delivers the gruesome, morbid details of some of the worst plagues in human history, as well as stories of the heroic figures who fought to ease their suffering. With her signature mix of in-depth research and upbeat storytelling, and not a little dark humor, Jennifer Wright explores history’s most gripping and deadly outbreaks.
Danish national first to be convicted under Malaysia's fake news law
Tech giants express concern over Singapore plan to fight fake news
Outlaw or ignore? How Asia is fighting 'fake news'
India backs down over plan to ban journalists for 'fake news'
Kenya's Crackdown On Fake News Raises Questions About Press Freedom
France weighs a law to rein in ‘fake news,’ raising fears for freedom of speech
Theresa May's fake news unit is just another naïve plan for the web
Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act
Germany: Flawed Social Media Law
Global crackdown on fake news raises censorship concerns
A guide to anti-misinformation actions around the world
Six more families sue Alex Jones over Sandy Hook conspiracy claims
Chobani sues Alex Jones, saying he falsely linked company to child rape, tuberculosis
Alex Jones Retracts Chobani Claims to Resolve Lawsuit
REVEALED: FOREIGN FED MEMBER BEHIND REFUGEE PUSH
Advertisers bail as Laura Ingraham goes on vacation
Fake news laws are threatening free speech on a global scale
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