SALC: Publishing false news or alarming/misleading information, defined differently in different jurisdictions, has a long and infamous history. From ancient Rome to the present day, publishing stories that are not true or meant to mislead has always been used for profiteering, influencing people’s views and opinions, and encouraging people to question authority or who can be trusted.
Equally, States have historically used the law to restrict the right to freedom of expression and curtail media freedoms by penalising the publishing of alarming information or false news. The offence dates back to the time of colonialism when States would use it to protect themselves from scrutiny or dissent. It is arguable whether such an offence can have a place in modern post-colonial societies.
Read the full article: False News or Free Speech: Protecting Freedom of Expression In Botswana
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