8

The issue of fake news has become of particular importance following the most recent US presidential campaign. As Silverman’s analysis on the data regarding the spread of fake news during that event reveals, it appears that in the final stages of the campaign fake news stories on Facebook outnumbered those coming from mainstream media outlets. As a consequence IT giants such as Facebook have decided to take action and tried to contain the rapid spread of such information by forming task forces in charge of tackling the phenomenon. Nevertheless, sometimes they contained stories emerging from satire news outlets rather than those from hyperpartisan or hoax media outlets. The phenomenon has also seen former US president Jimmy Carter calling for digital defense for voters when shaping their opinions. The question that arises from this situation is whether action against the ‘fake news’ phenomenon should be taken through official means bearing in mind the risks censorship poses to democracy, or leave this issue for private enterprises such as Google or Facebook to tackle without creating new legal instruments that may endanger free speech, freedom of opinion and democracy as a whole?