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New #DisinfoReview from the EU East StratCom Task Force
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This is a Special Edition of the Disinformation Review. We will be back on June 6th.
Until then, stay tuned on Facebook and Twitter.
28 May 2019

*TRENDS OF THE WEEK*

Democracy as an Act of Defiance

The people of the European Union has voted. The second largest democracy in the world, after India, and the results of the election are ready. Despite ongoing attempts to disrupt the election campaign, through lies, disinformation and computer attacks, we, Europeans, elected our representatives to the European Parliament with the highest turnout in twenty years. Right Wing, Left Wing, Centrists, Liberals, Conservatives, Eurosceptics, Euroenthusiasts, Pragmatists, Visionaries, Environmentalists, Industrialists, Nationalists and Internationalists - The European Parliament will continue to function as a forum for a public discourse. The word "parliament" is derived from the word "parler" in Old French" - to talk. The parliament is a place for talking, discussing, questioning, disagreeing, agreeing; for diversity. There is a word for this - democracy.

Old Lies

All this has been achieved despite massive attempts to disturb the voting process. Kremlin has been busy, spreading lies about EU and the Member States: French President Macron suggests expelling some member states from the Union; Mainstream Parties and Media use "Russophobia" to scare voters; EU has made Poland poorer than under Communist rule; EU provoked the conflict in Ukraine; EU policies are dictated by the US; EU has Nazi roots - in this last case, several disinformation channels had to blow the dust off a three year old article from Russian site Katehon.com. Old lies are also lies.

And then we have the Strache-Affair. The story about Austria's Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, published in German Süddeutsche Zeitung and Spiegel. In a video recording, Mr. Strache appears to offer a Russian woman public contracts, if she procures shares of an Austrian newspaper and makes it support Strache's party. The video triggered a severe political conflict in Austria, and the pro-Kremlin media have been quick to attribute the whole affair to European Liberals", "European Big Brothers", "German and Spanish Security Services" and maybe even German Chancellor Angela Merkel was personally involved; the case is described as German meddling into Austrian domestic affairs" or "an Information Terrorism attack", whatever that is. Strache was framed, because he supported cooperation with Russia. In connection with this, we learn from the pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets that the late leader of Strache's party, Jörg Haider, possibly was killed by the "European Deep State" in 2008.

Make America Socialist One Day

Some of the cases of disinformation seem almost rubber-stamped. Any given week, one is likely to hear the disinformation outlets parroting the same well worn, hum-drum comfortable lies. About the Kerch incident in November last year; about the US obstructing any attempts to achieve peace in Donbas; about the so-called referendum on Crimea in 2014, or some variation of the theme of Ukraine not being an independent country. Other lies are a little more inspired and creative - like the one about the West, paying money to Belarusian historians in order to have them start using the word Nazism, instead of Fascism, or the USA potentially about to change its name to Socialist States of America. Well, to quote John Wayne - That'll Be the Day...

Boring lies, fun lies, old lies, new. Lies are lies. The entire disinformation tool box continues to be deployed, also in the run up to the EU elections. And yet - European voters have expressed support for a system that allows dissent, disagreement and discontent. Diversity. We, Europeans, do not imagine that we all have to agree on everything, but we do agree on the concept of engaging in a public, open and respectful debate on any issues. Democracy is an act of defiance. Defiance against anyone who suggests easy answers to complicated challenges. Defiance against the lies.

Click here for the FULL COLLECTION of recent stories repeating disinformation.
 

*LATEST ANALYSES*

Question More, Report Less: the Newest from Disinformation Campaign Targeting the EU

From using renowned personalities and twisting their own messages, to selective reporting – here are the new examples of well-known disinformation tactics, applied to EU elections.

Read more

Disinformation and Censorship: Two Sides of the Same Coin in Russia

A scandal has hit Russia’s media environment following exposure of censorship at one of the country’s leading privately owned daily newspapers, Kommersant.

Read more

*LAST, BUT NOT LEAST*

EU Elections Update: Reaping What Was Sown


Russia’s seeds of subversion, carefully planted and cultivated for over half a decade, have successfully taken root and are now thriving independently.
Read more
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Every Thursday, the Disinformation Review brings you the latest cases of news articles carrying key examples of how pro-Kremlin disinformation finds its way in international media, as well as news and analysis on the topic. The review focuses on key messages carried in international media which have been identified as providing a partial, distorted or false view or interpretation and/or spreading key pro-Kremlin messaging. It does not necessarily imply however that the outlet concerned is linked to the Kremlin or that it is pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. The Review is a compilation of cases from the East Stratcom Task Force's wide network of contributors and therefore cannot be considered an official EU position. Likewise, the news articles are based on the analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force, so information and opinions expressed there cannot be considered an official EU position. Any errors or misrepresentations should be reported to the East Stratcom Task Force for correction at disinforeview@euvsdisinfo.eu.
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