French President Emmanuel Macron will propose new rules cracking down on fake news during elections this year, he said in an annual speech to the press today.

“When fake news are spread, it will be possible to go to a judge … and if appropriate have content taken down, user accounts deleted and ultimately websites blocked,” Macron said.

“Platforms will have more transparency obligations regarding sponsored content to make public the identity of sponsors and of those who control them, but also limits on the amounts that can be used to sponsor this content.”

Sites that distribute fake news would face punishment and media regulators would have more power to fight them.

During the French presidential election campaign, Macron banned Russian outlets RT and Sputnik from his campaign events, arguing they spread false information.

The EU has avoided drafting rules targeting fake news but has launched a high-level group of experts to help craft a European approach tackling the issue.

Marion Solletty contributed reporting.

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