The British Association of Comparative Law (BACL) invites submissions for its blog on the theme “The regulation of fake news and its enforcement” (click here for BACL blog).

Fake news has been brought to prominent attention with recent election campaigns such as the presidential electoral campaign in the USA in 2016 and again in 2020, with the debate around 5G in the UK and regarding the QAnon conspiracy. Social media have developed processes to address some aspects of fake news, not all uncontroversial. Indeed, regulating fake news can be seen as encroaching on constitutional rights such as freedom of speech. Yet, the fake news — their production and their consumption — have also negative consequences on public and social debates. Thus, in the wake of the assessment of the Code of Good Practice on Disinformation published in September 2020, the European Commission formulated some recommendations pertaining to the promotion of authoritative content on the Internet, the improvement of users’ awareness and the detection of manipulative behaviour. Countries seem to develop different strategies however. In the UK, there were official calls for policing more closely political advertising. In France, digital platforms are under a legal duty to cooperate and address the dissemination of fake news. Different legal systems may face different technical and practical issues and develop their own approaches to address fake news. They may also seek to borrow ideas from other countries ready off the shelf.

This call for papers seeks to offer a comparative perspective of the regulation of fake news and its enforcement. It seeks, in particular, to bring national experiences within a broader framework, and invites contributors to test the idea that the Internet is a “aterritorial” space or that Internet-users are “citizens of the world” in some way. This call seeks blog posts pertaining especially — but not only — to the following topics:

  • Critical and/or contextual analysis of recent legal and regulatory developments in this field (examples of foreign solutions being borrowed and/or conscious differentiation from foreign solutions would be most interesting);
  • Critical and/or contextual analysis of tools developed to ensure the quality of information available on the Internet and social media;
  • Critical analysis of existing needs for regulation targeting algorithms creating and spreading fake news;
  • Critical analysis of enforcement techniques and their effectiveness;
  • Case studies of regulation of fake news (e.g. regulation of periods of elections, health matters, journalism, fake news disseminated by politicians, regulation of access to contents for vulnerable groups etc.).

GUIDELINES: Blog posts should be written in proficient English, ca. 1,500 words long, with sub-headings and no footnotes. Please include hyperlinks to sources.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: 8 January 2021. Earlier submissions are encouraged.

QUESTIONS AND SUBMISSION: Please send your submission and / or questions to the following email address:

ABOUT BACL: BACL seeks to foster academic debates in a friendly environment. BACL blog editors (Dr Yseult Marique and Dr Sophie Turenne) welcome any contribution that concern comparative law broadly defined, such as reports articles, case notes, book reviews, conference proceedings, and more. 

BACL seeks to publish pieces drawing from a broad range of perspectives, fields of law and jurisdictions. We welcome contributions from early career researchers to experienced academics. Contributions with a relevance for a UK-based audience of comparative lawyers are especially welcome. 

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