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France : A ‘light footprint’ approach to information manipulation

in Sophie Vériter, Monica Kaminska, Dennis Broeders and Joachim Koops (eds), Responding to the COVID-19 ‘infodemic’ : National countermeasures against information influence in Europe, , The Hague, The Hague Program for Cyber Norms, Universiteit Leiden, December 2021,p. 11-17.


The French response to information manipulation is characterised by a ‘light footprint’ approach, following the CAPS-IRSEM report recommending that states avoid heavy-handedness for the sake of their values but also out of a concern for effectiveness : civil society (journalists, the media, online platforms, and NGOs) must remain the first line of defense against information manipulation in liberal, democratic societies. In concrete terms, this means that the French approach is inclusive, civil-society-oriented, and that, compared to other states like the UK, Sweden, or Canada, the state communicates very little about what it has been doing on that front, in particular on its internal organisation.

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