The book identifies the impact of misinformation in the context of referenda. While the notion of misinformation is at the centre of current events and is the subject of several studies, it has rarely been addressed in the context of referenda or from a multidisciplinary and comparative perspective. This book fills this gap. Different legal orders have been chosen because of their extensive referendum practices (California and Switzerland); a recent legislative process on the issue of misinformation (Germany, France, and Canada); or recent experience with a vote during which it was considered that false information had been disseminated (Brexit, Catalan independence, and Italian constitutional referendum of 2016). By bringing together authors from the political and legal sciences, the book focuses on combining the expertise of researchers from different backgrounds and origins in order to propose innovative solutions. In this regard, the book is characterized by the fact that it does not aim to combat misinformation per se, but develops suggestions meant to guarantee the conditions of formation of the political will during referenda.

The book will be an invaluable resource for legal scholars, political scientists, and specialists of political communication. Outside the world of academia, the book may draw the attention of policy-makers, practitioners, and journalists confronted with the challenges of misinformation or disinformation.

chapter |12 pages

Misinformation in referenda

An introduction to the volume

part I|78 pages

Misinformation disorder, misuse of statistics, and fact-checking

chapter 1|23 pages

Sincerity in politics

How much is too much?

chapter 4|14 pages

Fact-checking direct democracy

When journalists set out to correct misinformation

part III|142 pages

Evolution of regulation

chapter 9|23 pages

Online disinformation and freedom of expression in the democratic context

The European and Italian responses

chapter 10|26 pages

Tackling misinformation in referendums

Lessons from anglophone democracies

chapter 11|15 pages

How to define misinformation

The French attempt

chapter 12|22 pages

The guarantee of political rights in view of misinformation

Is new regulation needed for Swiss referenda?

chapter 13|24 pages

From veracity to traceability

A new Canadian legal framework for deliberative referenda