False news circulating France has caused a wide spread of violence across the country.
Social media rumors on white vans abduction children by members of the Roma ethnicity has caused outrage among the community. This has caused the french authorities to dismiss claims as baseless.
The French authorities have called for calm among the community. Sending out a tweet;
It read: rumors of a white van driving around the Paris suburbs of Nanterre and Colombes attempting to snatch young women had resulted in the false accusation and “lynching” of two people
“Do not share this false information,” the police tweet continued
In December, police in Versailles, 12 miles south of Paris, tweeted about the punishment for posting false rumors online. Under French law, you can be fined €45,000 to €135,000 ($51,000 to $153,000) for circulating fake news on the internet. The spread of rumors and fake news on social media is a growing problem worldwide.
In July 2018, a spate of lynchings was triggered in India by rumors shared on the WhatsApp messaging service. Over six weeks, nearly a dozen people were killed in separate incidents after being falsely accused of child abduction based on WhatsApp rumors.