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Fighting fake news: Caught between a rock and a hard place

European Council on Foreign Relations: “Government regulation on fake news is unlikely to prevent malicious actors from meddling in our elections or polarising our societies.  With many worried about a Russian information offensive in the West, European states are in the process of developing defence mechanisms. Unfortunately, several seem to be reacting with a legalistic approach that will likely do more harm than good. France, Germany, Italy and the UK are among those setting up measures to identify, block or remove ‘fake news’ from the internet. All these proposals suffer from the same problem: an inability to objectively and usefully define fake news without veering into political censorship. As many experts are warning, ‘fake news’ is becoming a weaponised, politicised term, applied to everything from genuine hoaxes to merely disputed opinions. To further confuse things, hate speech, propaganda, and even satire seem to be falling under this umbrella…”

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