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Egypt passes bill to counter “fake news”

Legislation labels personal social media accounts with more than 5,000 followers as media outlets

Image Credit: AP
Tahrir Square, in Cairo, Egypt. The staunchly pro-government Egyptian parliament passed a bill targeting popular social media accounts that authorities accuse of publishing “fake news,” the latest move in a five-year-old drive to suppress dissent and silence independent sources of news.
Gulf News

Cairo: Egypt’s parliament has passed a bill targeting popular social media accounts that authorities accuse of publishing “fake news.”

The legislation was adopted late on Monday by the staunchly pro-government chamber, though details of the new bill only emerged on Wednesday.

The legislation labels personal social media accounts with more than 5,000 followers as media outlets and empowers authorities to block them on the grounds of publishing “fake news.”

There was no elaboration on what is or is not considered as “fake news.”

The bill still needs to go to President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi for ratification - a foregone conclusion since such bills are often inspired by his government.

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