Lutte contre la désinformation

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Thank you Madam President, Honourable Members,

It is really evident that the virus pandemic has been accompanied by an ‘infodemic’, by a pandemic of disinformation. We have witnessed a wave of false and misleading information, and an exponential increase in targeted influence operations by foreign actors.

The coronavirus pandemic has been accompanied by a massive wave of false and misleading information, attempts by foreign actors to influence domestic debates in the EU, breeding on the fertile ground of people’s most basic anxieties and the rapidly changing news cycle. Misleading healthcare information, dangerous hoaxes with false claims conspiracy theories and consumer fraud endanger public health.

The coronavirus pandemic has been accompanied by a massive wave of false and misleading information, attempts by foreign actors to influence domestic debates in the EU, breeding on the fertile ground of people’s most basic anxieties and the rapidly changing news cycle. Misleading healthcare information, dangerous hoaxes with false claims conspiracy theories and consumer fraud endanger public health.

In line with the previous EEAS Special Reports and based on publicly available information, this edition gives an overview of recent developments around COVID-19 related disinformation.

 

In light of inaccurate information published in some media about the “watering down” of an EU report on disinformation recently released after pressure from China, EU Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Peter Stano wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Times:

 

Letter to the Editor

“I read with disappointment your article Pressured by China, E.U. Softens Report on Covid-19 Disinformation.

As outlined in the earlier reports, disinformation, myths and misinformation continue to proliferate around the world, with potentially harmful consequences for public security, health and effective crisis communications. In this context, it is important to distinguish the very different forms of mis- and disinformation, as well as other forms of information manipulation.

Building on our strategic partnership, shared values and commitment to multilateralism, Canada and the European Union (EU) are working intensively together to address the significant consular, public health and economic challenges of the COVID-19 crisis.

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S’appuyant sur notre partenariat stratégique, nos valeurs communes et notre engagement à l’égard du multilatéralisme, le Canada et l’Union européenne (UE) collaborent très étroitement pour relever les imposants défis engendrés par la crise de la COVID-19 en matière de services consulaires, de santé publique et d’économie.

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"We are facing an info-demic with dangerous impact on public health. We’ll continue to tackle disinformation, and coordinate and intensify our efforts with the Member States and with social media platforms" - Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

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