Argentina is advancing some initiatives against fake news in advance of next year’s presidential elections. Proposed legislation would create a Comisón de Verificación de Noticias Falsas (CVNF) (Commission for the Verification of Fake News) within the Cámara Nacional Electoral (CNE). The CVNF would be in charge of the detection, recognition, labeling, and prevention of fake news exposed through digital media broadcasts during national election campaigns. The CNE has already created a National Registry of social media accounts and websites of candidates, political parties, and party leadership, which is intended to enable the detection of false accounts. The accuracy of legal information is secured through the official publication of the national laws and regulations in an official portal online as well as in print.
The widespread manipulation of fake news through social media has become a serious concern in Argentina, particularly in light of next year’s presidential elections. Of the two basic approaches governments have taken to address this problem—regulating and applying sanctions to social media networks spreading fake news, and engagement between election authorities and digital platforms to secure a well-informed electorate—Argentina has taken steps toward the second approach.
Argentina is considering proposed legislation to create a Comisón de Verificación de Noticias Falsas (CVNF) (Commission for the Verification of Fake News) within the Cámara Nacional Electoral (CNE), which would be in charge of the detection, recognition, labeling, and prevention of fake news exposed through digital media broadcasts during national election campaigns. It would only operate during national election campaigns.
According to proposed legislation, the CVNF’s aim would be to preserve the value of truth in broadcasting by digital media, the protection of freedom of expression, respect for the values and beliefs of news consumers via the internet, and the truthfulness of facts reported through social networks . The proposal recognizes the right to internet access as a human right, based on full respect for human dignity, freedom, equality, and diversity in all its expressions.
Under the measure, all individuals and entities would have the right to create, transmit, and publish digital content via the internet and/or to receive such content without being subject to restraint, interference, or discrimination, except when the content is false information published as real and intentionally causes harm to another.
The CVNF would operate by reviewing publications to verify the reality of the facts on which they are based, excluding those that are only based on ideological positions or reasoning expressed discursively. The CVNF would identify potentially fake news through the following methods:
- Checking the actual existence of the facts reported in the news by contrasting them with users’ comments
- Excessive viralization of the news
- By complaint made by persons, openly or anonymously, on the special website created by the CNE for this purpose
- Other evidence of false news in the opinion of the CNE
The proposal provides for fake news verification procedures that would be triggered by a complaint filed with the CVNF. Verification would encompass the identification of the source of information, verification of the actual facts on which the story is based, and cross-checking data on the origin and development of the reported facts, among other measures.
Once news was identified as false, the CVNF would report it to the CNE, which could take the following measures:
- Order internet providers to tag and label the information subject to verification under the caption “Notice of doubtful credibility”
- Require internet service providers to reduce the distribution of the labeled news
- Register it on the public website created by the CNE as news of dubious credibility as determined by the Commission
A secretariat of the CNE Chamber would be tasked with monitoring the entire process on the identification and labeling of false news. Internet service providers would be required to comply with a CNE order within twelve hours.
Violations of the law would be subject to a range of sanctions, including warnings, fines, disqualification as a government contractor/provider for up to ten years, loss of benefits or special tax regimes, and suspension for two years of the portal or network that failed to remove false or malicious content after being ordered to do so.
In addition, the CNE has issued a resolution creating a registry of social media accounts and websites of candidates, political parties, and its leadership. The registration requirement is intended to allow the detection of false accounts. Under the resolution, the CNE will periodically publish the results of the monitoring of election campaign advertising on social media and websites. Registered political parties will be required to submit the audiovisual material that they broadcast on the internet and social media.
With regard to securing the accuracy of legal information, the government provides free access to comprehensive national and provincial legislation through its portal infoleg.gov.ar, within the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights.
The Boletín Oficial (Official Gazette) is the official publication of legislation in the country. Its content is considered authentic both in its printed and electronic editions. Currently, the National Directorate of the Official Registry depends functionally on the Legal and Technical Secretariat of the Presidency of the Nation, which is the entity in charge of publishing the Official Gazette.
Prepared by Graciela Rodriguez-Ferrand
Foreign Law Specialist
 Laura Serra, Fake News. Una Alerta para el Sistema Democrático, La Nación (Oct. 7, 2018), https://www.lanacion.com.ar/2178565-fake-news-una-alerta-sistema-democratico, archived at https://perma.cc/42R7-BLC2.
 Proyecto de Ley Creación de Comisión de Verificación de Noticias Falsas, Aug. 28, 2018, art. 1, Honorable Cámara de Diputados de la Nación, https://www.hcdn.gob.ar/proyectos/texto Completo.jsp?exp=5228-D-2018&tipo=LEY, archived at https://perma.cc/7YZX-AYMA.
 Id. art. 3.
 Id. art. 4.
 Id. art. 7.
 Id. art. 8.
 Id. art. 9.
 Id. art. 10.
 Id. art. 11.
 Id. art. 12.
 Id. art. 13.
 Acordada Extraordinaria No. 66/2018, Aug. 16, 2018, art. 2, Cámara Nacional Electoral, https://www.electoral.gob.ar/nuevo/paginas/pdf/AE_066_18.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/ C2L3-TBCS.
 Serra, supra note 1.
 Acordada Extraordinaria No. 66/2018, art. 1.
 Id. art. 3.
 Infoleg, Información Legislativa y Documental, Ministerio de Justicia y Derechos Humanos, Presidencia de la Nación, http://www.infoleg.gob.ar (last visited Mar. 8, 2019), archived at https://perma.cc/UVG8-3ZVC.
 Boletín Oficial de la República Argentina, https://www.boletinoficial.gob.ar/#!estatica/ institucional (last visited Mar. 8, 2019), archived at https://perma.cc/6ALA-ZC37.
Last Updated: 06/11/2019