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

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Baade, Björnstjern, Don’t Call a Spade a Shovel: Crucial Subtleties in the Definition of Fake News and Disinformation (April 14, 2020). Verfassungsblog, 14 April 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3577407 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3577407

Björnstjern Baade (Contact Author)

Freie Universität Berlin ( email )

Boltzmannstr. 3
Berlin, 14195
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://tinyurl.com/BBaade

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