The presentation analyzes the constitutional protection of truthful information and accuracy in the Americas. From this starting point, reviews whether there is some constitutional protection of false speech, considering the enacted legislation in the Americas criminalizing fake news. The presentation concludes that in the majority of the cases, the pieces of legislation create a situation in which Government entities define an “official truth,” particularly when media outlets interpret and frame the news. In this way, these regulations are “overinclusive” over speech protection. This situation creates a paradox in which the criminalization infringes its constitutional protection in the name of freedom of speech.
After the massive protests and riots back in October 2019 in Chile, the subsequent Peace and New Constitution Agreement, and the Covid-19 curfew, the country experienced a period of electoral processes in which a Constitutional Convention was elected. At the beginning of March 2022, a new President and Congress were elected, along with local authorities. Unfortunately, in all these elections, a phenomenon of disinformation took place. The Constitutional Convention is in the approval process of the draft of the Constitution and an Ethics Internal Regulation, which includes the dissemination of falsehoods and fake news. The presentation aims to analyze the enacted rules concerning fake news and related content concerning the freedom of expression clause in the Constitutional draft, which will be voted in September 2022.
Fake news is affecting our democracy. Electoral processes, such as the Brexit vote or the experienced political polarization across different societies, are good examples. Thus, many European states have legislation to prevent this trend. However, some policies and enacted legislation attempt to prevent this issue. Some of these regulations infringe the right to receive information and the right to freedom of speech in general.
The fundamental right to receive truthful and accurate information is being seriously affected by fake news, which generates a great degree of disinformation among citizens. The presentation analyzes this phenomenon in the European context, covering attempts to prevent disinformation through fact-checking mechanisms – in the case of media outlets; and European policies to tackle the danger to public opinion.