European Union External Action

Don't be deceived: EU acts against fake news and disinformation

19/09/2017 - 16:08
News stories

The danger that fake news poses to democracy and stability is increasingly apparent around the world. Since 2015, a small team in the EEAS has been working on one important front: to challenge Russia's ongoing disinformation campaigns. On 12 September we launched the new and improved "EU vs. Disinfo" website.

Disinformation fake news propaganda Russia Eastern Partnership EEAS Stratcom

Have you heard that the EU plans to ban snowmen? That Angela Merkel is Adolf Hitler's daughter? Of course, it's not true, but these are two examples of fake news that can be found on the internet. Disinformation manipulates citizens and seeks to undermine their trust in democratic systems. The EU is taking some concrete steps against false news that is designed to destabilise European democracies.

After a decision by EU leaders in 2015, a small team was created in the EU's External Action Service to "challenge Russia's ongoing disinformation campaigns". The so-called East Stratcom Task Force has now been working for two years: It documents what disinformation looks like and debunks the myths spread to confuse citizens. At the same time, the Task Force works to support genuine journalism in the former Soviet countries of the Eastern Partnership. It also promotes the European Union and its policies in that region.

On 12 September, the Task Force presented its new website, a key resource for those interested in disinformation. The website (euvsdisinfo.eu) features 

  • The latest news and analysis on the topic, including inside stories on how trolling and manipulation in media really work.
  • The Disinformation Review, the weekly newsletter on pro-Kremlin disinformation that gives the overview of the latest fakes published and indicates trends.
  • A database of over 3000 cases of disinformation that is easily searchable. It covers examples from 18 languages that have been collected over the last two years.
  • Reading lists that cover essential material for delving deeper into specific issues of disinformation, such as the downed flight MH17.

 Watch the video to learn more about the site (https://euvsdisinfo.eu/we-have-a-new-website/). Follow the team on Twitter (https://twitter.com/EUvsDisinfo) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/EUvsDisinfo).

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