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Rumors About Leaders' Private Lives Spark Judicial Inquiry

SOCIAL NETWORKING—FRANCE

April 9, 2010

Social networking site postings and online blogs focused on the personal lives of President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni, are testing the limits of privacy, The Economist reports. Denouncing the stories as "totally unfounded," Sarkozy's attorney has said a judicial inquiry is looking into the origins of the rumors, the report states. Noting that France's strict privacy laws allow public figures to sue even when stories are true, the report points out that many media organizations have adopted the practice of "publish first and pay the penalty later." Social networking users, meanwhile, who are not required to provide proof or check for accuracy, "make enforcement of the privacy laws harder."
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