The problem of disinformation is globally recognised as disruptive to the normal functioning of democratic societies, economies and political systems. In recent years, ‘fake news’ and coordinated disinformation campaigns have an instrument of geopolitical influence.
They have afflicted elections in both established and new democracies, and undermined social and political solidarity in response to global challenges. It is with these and other instances in mind that the European Union (EU) identified ‘the exposure of citizens to large scale disinformation’ as ‘a major challenge for Europe’ in 2018, undertaking an increasingly ambitious programme of action to counter this evolving threat since. The outbreak of the coronavirus has led to disinformation that hampers efforts to contain the pandemic.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said false claims “are spreading faster than the virus” and has already termed it an “infodemic of planetary proportions”. The Russian aggression against Ukraine is also a source of many disinformation.
Special Committee for foreign interference in all democratic processes in the EU, including disinformation (INGE) was created in the European Parliament to tackle these challenges