Don’t Call a Spade a Shovel: Crucial Subtleties in the Definition of Fake News and Disinformation
Verfassungsblog, 14 April 2020
3 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2020
Date Written: April 14, 2020
There is considerable agreement that false as well as distorted (or misleading) statements can be 'fake news' or 'disinformation'. What is lacking, to my mind, is an awareness that the difference between these two varieties is critical. European human rights law requires the distinction between false and distorted statements. False statements may, in principle, be regulated, also in a repressive manner; distorted statements generally may not. Non-legal efforts to counter fake news or disinformation, e.g. fact-checking, are likewise harmed by disregarding the difference between false and distorted statements.
Keywords: Fake News, Disinformation, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Abuse, Bad Faith, Truth, Facts, Fact-Checking, EU, External Action Service, East Stratcom Task Force, Propaganda
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