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EU: Brussels, first expert group meeting on fake news. “A threat to democratic values”

Bruxelles, 15 gennaio: Madeleine de Cock Buning, a sinistra, e Mariya Gabriel (foto SIR/Commissione Ue)

(Brussels) The first meeting of the High-Level Expert Group on fake news is taking place in Brussels today. The Group, chaired by Madeleine de Cock Buning, an expert in media and communication law, is composed of 40 members representing a variety of interests, geographical areas, and areas related to the theme of “fake news” (social networks, media, civil society, journalists, academia). Its primary goal is to “determine what falls under this definition” so as to “identify and provide options” to counteract the negative effects of fake news. Digital Economy and Society Commissioner Mariya Gabriel and Madeleine de Cock Buning briefly presented the work started by the Group at a press conference this morning. “Fake news spreads at a disturbing pace today, threatening the reputation of the media, the state of democracy, democratic values”, the Commissioner said; we have no intention of “compelling citizens to believe the information or not”, nor do we want to “restrict media and communication rights”; our aim is to “promote transparency, diversity and credibility of information sources”. The Group will work to develop “options and elements for reflection for the Commission on all issues related to the dissemination of fake news in the traditional and social media and on ways to tackle its political and social consequences”. The Commission is due to release a communication in spring 2018.

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