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A demonstrator waves the European flag as he stands next to life-sized Mark Zuckerberg cutouts to protest against fake Facebook accounts spreading disinformation, Brussels, May 22, 2018 (AP photo by Geert Vanden Wijngaert).

The EU Considers a New Approach to Confront Disinformation Online

Monday, June 4, 2018

The European Commission recently announced that it would step up its efforts to fight disinformation online. Despite the prior reluctance of several commissioners to name any specific foreign governments, the newly published policy document, called a Communication, singles out Russia for practicing information warfare and aims to establish what it calls “a European approach” to tackle these and other forms of hybrid interference. This new approach will focus on improving transparency, promoting media diversity, fostering credible sources of information and devising long-term solutions to tackle disinformation in Europe.

The announcement comes at a time when the European Union’s existing in-house efforts against disinformation are under fire. Its “EUvsDisinfo” campaign, which was launched by a unit known as the East StratCom Task Force with the aim to better forecast, address and respond to pro-Kremlin disinformation, has been criticized over the involvement of EU civil servants in fact-checking news sources and what is described as “myth-busting.” As critics have pointed out, “the media should check on the state, not the other way around.” ...

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