France is the latest country attempting to fight the scourge of fake news with legislation — but opponents say the law won’t work and could even be used to silence critics.

The draft law, designed to stop what the government calls “manipulation of information” in the run-up to elections, will be debated in parliament Thursday with a view to it being put into action during next year’s European parliamentary polls.

The idea for the bill came straight from President Emmanuel Macron, who was himself targeted during his 2017 campaign by online rumours that he was gay and had a secret bank account in the Bahamas.

Under the law, French authorities would be able to immediately halt the publication of information deemed to be false ahead of elections.

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