Fight Fake News? Rather improve Media Diversity and Transparency

Written by Heritiana Ranaivoson, Luciano Morganti, imec-SMIT-Vrije Universiteit Brussel


Fake News getting increasing attention

Fake news seems to be all over the place now. While there have always been rumours and unverified information circulating through word of mouth or through media, the term itself gained in popularity due to the tone of the debate during the US presidential election in 2016 and in the debates preceding the so-called Brexit referendum. More recently, Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of benefiting from an undemocratic and criminal industry of fake news and lies which led to his election as Brazil’ president-elect. In contrast to previous examples where Facebook had been the main focus of accusations, in Brazil, it is WhatsApp (owned by Facebook!) which is at the centre of accusations.

 

As a result, laws against fake news have been discussed in several European Union countries, notably in France and Germany, and the topic is highly debated also amongst European Institutions.

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