In China, jail threatens fake news and deep fakes. And so it should be (?)

Fake news has long been a real scourge of the Internet. Despite the appearance of many solutions that were to prevent their spread, fighting them is still extremely difficult. Social networking sites where this false information is shared constantly have problems marking it. That is why I have the impression that the only really good way to solve the problem of fake news it would be a change of law – a change that would make it punishable to publish fake news. This is how China used it.

According to the Chinese authorities, on January 1, 2020, a law will come into force that is to restrict not only the publication of fake news, but also manipulated films known as deep fakes. Under the new rules, the publication of false information or movies modified with artificial intelligence without a clear indication that such movies are deepfakes is to be a prohibited act.

The new law applies not only to Internet users who create deep fakes and spread fake news, but also to providers of websites where such materials can be published. Both parties will be required to mark all content in the process of creating such technologies as deep learning, or deep learning. The suppliers themselves will be responsible for detecting fabricated or potentially manipulated information.

Of course side effect of introducing the right described it will be that even those who publish false information by mistake may face potential punishment. It is not known, however, what punishment is referred to, because the Chinese authorities did not disclose any details about it.


Fighting fake news and deepfakes by outlawing them seems to be a very good solution. Both fake news and deepfakes are a potential threat to state structures from around the world, as well as society and business, so you should do as much as possible to discourage them from publishing. Well, China can be criticized in many respects, but it must be admitted that it has taken the right steps in this matter. Whether the new law will be used to restrict freedom of expression is another matter.

It should be mentioned that China has not introduced laws to ban fake news first. Last month, one of the US states – California, did the same, however, the regulations concerned only the pre-election period and did not include news sites. What's more, a similar law last year appeared in Malaysia (where publishing fake news threatened as many as 6 years in prison and a fine of usd 470 thousand), but only a few months later it was lifted.

Source: reuters