Criminalize Fake News

I spoke with two men recently who shared my political philosophy of libertarianism. However, when we talked about current issues we were on opposite sides of the table. The only reason for this was they read one news source and I read another. We believed different facts. Truth however is real and one of us is wrong. It’s hard for even intelligent people to discern who is right though due to the high amount of false information and narratives being pushed.

Intentionally fake news should be criminalized and civil recourse should be offered in order to cut down on the severe damage our democracy is facing.

If a TV station accidentally publishes inaccurate stories, that is okay as long as they retract it. If the TV station purposefully publishes news they think is inaccurate, the people involved should face penalties.

I think news should be required to be entirely separate business entities from opinion. There is too much conflict of interest when you combine the two.


There is a great discussion on Hacker News about this. I actually have changed my mind about criminalizing fake news. I like the idea of making it a tort instead. This way it is not the government setting definitions, but courts handling it on a case by case basis.

Published by

Joel Gross

Joel Gross is the CEO of Coalition Technologies.

2 thoughts on “Criminalize Fake News”

  1. A nice sentiment, but likely unenforceable.

    A lot of the false news spreaders “believe” they are correct.

    Not to mention that retractions are not that useful in the modern world. A shock story gets 1 million retweets, spreads like fire and causes harm. A retraction is usually done much more quiet and is share a lot less often.

    Then there is the question of media company Vs. Citizen journalist (person with a blog).

    Who decides on what is fake or not? Look at the US calculation of the poverty level – at one point it saw food as the greatest cost, a quick change to housing costing more, and suddenly there are thousands more poor than before.

    Still – you are right that something must be done. This just can’t go on.

  2. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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