On April 24th, 2022, Protests and unrest erupted in Lyon and Paris France after Emmanual Macron won the election against Marine Le Pen. Prior to the election, Macron warned that “fake news” and “misinformation” were a threat to democracy:
“With just hours left until France’s presidential election runoff between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen on Sunday, political emotions in the country are especially high.
Analysts have suggested that the vote has more weight than ever for Europe, as France holds the European Union presidency until July.
But election campaigns provide fertile ground for misinformation and false claims to spread online.
Macron has previously warned that election misinformation poses a threat to democracy, and has argued that those responsible for spreading “fake news” online should be held accountable and possibly brought to justice.
Meanwhile, Le Pen’s campaign is reportedly seeking legal ways to respond to “fake news disseminated massively and likely to alter the ballot”.
On April 25, 2022, Macron was the declared the winner of the contentious run-off election against Le Pen, carrying just under 60% of the total vote:
“In a suspenseful run-off election, French President Emmanuel Macron overcame his far-right opponent Marine Le Pen, making Macron the first French President to win a second term in two decades. However, the far-right was closer than ever.
While the gap between the two candidates is large enough to ensure a clear victory, it is smaller than in previous polls.
According to the website of the French Ministry of the Interior, Macron received 58.5 percent of the vote, or 18.8 million votes, while Le Pen received 41.5 percent of the vote, or 13.3 million votes.
In the 2017 election, the two candidates received 66.1 percent of the vote with 20.7 million votes and 33.9 percent of the vote with 10.6 million votes, respectively.
Allegations of voter fraud circulated on French social media, including a video purporting to show spoiled ballots for Marine Le Pen:
Protests erupted in France after Macron’s reelection was announced:
Police deployed tear gas against protesters:
Officers fatally shot two individuals after opening fire on a vehicle refusing to stop at a checkpoint and driving in the incorrect direction on the road:
An anti-globalist, pro “Z” video circulated on French social media in the days leading up to the Presidential election:
A yellow vest affiliated group released this video last year during widespread weekly protests against COVID-19 lockdowns and “vaccine passports/digital IDs:”