Sibeth Ndiaye, April 15, 2020 in Paris. - Michel Euler / AP / SIPA

The government's initiative, listing information verification sites of several major media, has come under fire from critics since the announcement Thursday of its creation. The government justified the establishment of the "Desinfox Coronavirus" page on Saturday by the need to combat "the proliferation" of "false information" on the health crisis.

This page "is intended to be deleted once the crisis is over", assured Sibeth Ndiaye, the government spokesperson, questioned after the Council of Ministers on the controversy created by its posting on the government website. Fr.

The # COVID19 crisis promotes the spread of #fakenews. More than ever, it is necessary to trust reliable and verified sources of information. This is why the @gouvernementFR site now offers a dedicated space.

- Sibeth Ndiaye (@SibethNdiaye) April 30, 2020

"Meeting the expectations of our fellow citizens in search of reliable and verified information"

"Since the start of the Covid-19 health crisis, the government has been working to ensure that all of our citizens have access to the most reliable information possible, in real time," she said. However, "we are witnessing a proliferation, which I will describe as unheard of, of false information, (and which can lead to serious health consequences", she deplored, taking the example of false information on " supposed treatments which would make it possible to overcome the coronavirus ”, like“ this recommendation recommending swallowing bleach to decontaminate from the inside ”.

To fight against disinformation, "we have set up different digital spaces on the site, which are intended to meet the legitimate expectations of our fellow citizens in search of reliable and verified information," she explained. , ensuring that "in no case do the government and the state choose press articles".

"A form of review of all fact-checking carried out by the French media"

"The government site only performs a form of (...) review of the whole, without choice made between the media, of all the fact-checking carried out," she said, adding that " the French media highlighted have a section dedicated to fact-checking for at least two years, a specialized team and free access to content. ”

Among the newspapers cited, figure Liberation , whose editor Laurent Joffrin regretted, in the Saturday edition, this initiative. “Government communication is one thing, the work of newsrooms is another. This publication without further explanation risks causing confusion in the minds of readers, especially since its promotion was done by Sibeth Ndiaye, who occupies the very political post of government spokesperson, ”said he writes.

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