Reflection on Freedom of Expression and Countering Fake News in the Light of United Nations and European Union Policies

Document Type : Research Article


1 PhD Student of International Law, Islamic Azad University, North Tehran Branch, Tehran, Iran

2 Professor of international law, Imam Hossein University, Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant Professor of International Law, Islamic Azad University, North Tehran Branch, Tehran, Iran


Fake news has become a global problem on the one hand and a serious restriction on freedom of expression on the other hand. The works of fake news have threatened the right to freedom of expression and political participation in societies. The United Nations has taken measures and the European Union has first defined fake news and made policies and regulations based on it to overcome the news threats. These actions are not without problems; Because it interferes with the rules that guarantee freedom of speech as a fundamental freedom. By reviewing the existing laws and policies and analyzing the actions taken to fight fake news at the UN and EU level, this article concludes that the continuation of this process may lead to excessive censorship and, as a result, the violation of freedom of expression; Therefore, it is necessary to balance the border between fake news and lies within the framework of freedom of expression with a realistic view. In this article, how to legally and effectively deal with fake news is analytically researched by examining the documents, regulations of the United Nations and the European Union, and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights.


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