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The European Commission’s fight against coronavirus disinformation

Fake news about the spread, treatment and effects of COVID-19 have become an everyday occurrence an the EC wants to put an end to it

  • April 01, 2020 21:30
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
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Source: EU budget debate ahead of crucial summit - with Ursula von der Leyen by European Parliament on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Over the past few years European citizens have been constantly bombarded by disinformation and fake news on a wide range of topics – be they migrants, the situation in the Middle East or elections. None of them, however, have been as dangerous as the falsities related to COVID-19.

Foreign states, misinformed citizens and malicious actors have been engaging in a battle for control over the narrative about the coronavirus – a battle that is dangerous for the health of every single person in the European Union.

That is why the European Commission is working alongside media platforms and organisations in order to suppress lies and disinformation and promote authoritative sources that have been verified and do not seek to drive a political agenda and play with the lives and health of European citizens.

Furthermore, the responsible commissioners, including Mariya Gabriel, have vowed to keep an eye on social media platforms and their adherence anti-fake news guidelines to which they have signed up and have endorsed.

How you can help

But institutions can not do it alone. Every citizen must aid the European Commission on its quest for a safer and more reliable media environment.

On an individual level, you can do much in order to stop the spread of fake news. First, you should double and triple-check everything you read before sharing – and you should do so by relying on some of the official and recognized sources - like state actors and international organisations – like the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Furthermore, you can also report content that is false and makes fake claims to social media platforms, who are also working alongside the European Commission, thus helping them find and detect those who seek to spread lies and panic.

If you’re interested in learning more about the coronavirus, you should also do so by checking out reputable sources, rather than makeshift explanations. You can find plenty of interesting and informative materials on the European Commission’s dedicated webpage.

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