Merkel Declares War On "Fake News" As Europe Brands Russia's RT, Sputnik "Dangerous Propaganda"

Tyler Durden's picture

Picking up the torch on the most hotly debated topic by the humiliated US mainstream media, namely the spread of so-called "fake news" (not to be confused with Brian Williams lying for years on prime time TV, and which until recently was branded far simply as "conspiracy theory"), German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Wednesday against the power of fake news on social media to roil the establishment and to spur the rise of populists, after launching her campaign for a fourth term.

Speaking in parliament for the first time since her announcement Sunday that she would seek re-election next year, Merkel cautioned that public opinion was being "manipulated" on the internet.

"Something has changed -- as globalisation has marched on, (political) debate is taking place in a completely new media environment. Opinions aren't formed the way they were 25 years ago," she said.

Quoted by France 24, she said that "Today we have fake sites, bots, trolls -- things that regenerate themselves, reinforcing opinions with certain algorithms and we have to learn to deal with them." The chancellor said the challenge for democrats was to "reach and inspire people. However, should that fail, Merkel essentially suggested the time for censorship has come: "we must confront this phenomenon and if necessary, regulate it."

She said she supported initiatives by her right-left coalition government to crack down on "hate speech" on social media in the face of what she said were "concerns about the stability of our familiar order".

She warned that "Populism and political extremes are growing in Western democracies."

Merkel's warning comes a week after Google and Facebook (which overnight was revealed to have a "tool" ready to implement regional censorship) moved to cut off ad revenue to bogus news sites after a US election campaign in which the global misinformation industry may have influenced the outcome of the vote.

Perhaps a reason for Merkel's concern is that while her conservative Christian Democrats are largely favourites to win the German national election, expected in September or October 2017, she is facing a strong challenge from a resurgent rightwing populist party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), which has her liberal refugee and migration policy in its crosshairs.

* * *

Meanwhile, just as Merkel was launching Europe's war on "fake news", Europe's bureaucrats were one step ahead, and in a shocking move, on Wednesday the EU Parliament voted on a non-legislative resolution which calls for the EU to “respond to information warfare by Russia.” Russian news websites RT and Sputnik news agency were alleged to be among the most dangerous "tools of Russian propaganda."

A total of 691 lawmakers participated in the vote: 304 voted in favor of the resolution dubbed ‘EU strategic communication to counteract propaganda against it by third parties’, 179 voted against and 208 abstained from voting. Authors of the document equate counteracting Russia with the resistance to Daesh terrorist group and call on EU member states to boost financing counter-propaganda projects.

Written by a Polish member of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group, Anna Fotyga, the report alleged that Moscow aims to "incite fear and divide Europe," and called for the establishment of measures to tackle the perceived Russian propaganda threat. The report suggests that Moscow provides financial support to opposition parties and organizations in EU member states, causing disintegration within the bloc.

In other words: to counter alleged Russian propaganda, Europe is unleashing it own, very much formal counter-propaganda. 

As a result of the vote, Russia is now accused of "information warfare," with such entities as RT TV channel, Sputnik news agency, Rossotrudnichestvo federal agency and the Russkiy Mir (Russian World) fund alleged to be among its most threatening propaganda "tools."

The document also places Russian media organizations alongside terrorist groups such as Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

Sputnik has already appealed to the UN, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and a number of international journalists' organizations and NGOs, including Reporters Without Borders, to take measures to stop what it considers to be interference into freedom of speech in the EU. "The resolution hits straight at a number of respected media, including Sputnik agency, and has an aim to stop their activity in the EU. Moreover, the resolution bluntly contradicts the  EU's own human rights and freedom of press norms," reads the letter signed by Sputnik Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan.

* * *

Shortly after the vote Vladimir Putin slammed the EU parliament resolution against Russian media. He said that Europe is trying to "teach" Russia democracy. Putin added that the EU Parliament's resolution demonstrates "political degradation" in regard to the "idea of democracy" in the West. He also pointed out that while "everyone tries to lecture" Russia on democracy, European lawmakers themselves resort to a policy of restrictions, "which is not the best way" to deal with any issues.

"More recently — and these attempts are still ongoing — they [European officials] tried to 'teach us' democracy, and we have always heard from these 'teachers' that the most vicious way to do business with opponents is to ban something and that it is not consistent with the principles and norms of democracy. Open discussion is always the best way," Putin said.

Adding that he hopes the Western move to "counter Russian propaganda" won't lead to serious restrictions, the president congratulated RT and Sputnik journalists on their work.

He concluded that the EU parliament resolution is an "evident sign of degradation of the Western society's vision of democracy," Putin said. It is curious how many "western society" citizens agree with him.

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Holy hand grenade of Antioch's picture
Holy hand grenade of Antioch (not verified) Tachyon5321 Nov 23, 2016 9:25 AM

Datz Communiss! (it's the new 'dats rayciss!)

cossack55's picture

Come on Germany. Been down this road B4.

BabaLooey's picture


Das Bag of Potatos

JohnGaltUk's picture

The BBC is rubbish, I have to watch RT to get any decent news.

Last week with all the shit that is happening in Europe; The BBC's lead story at 6AM in the morning was if you were able to buy Marmite from Tesco or not. I mean FFS.

The British Government through its share holding in Natwest, attempted to close down RT here in the UK by closing RT's bank accounts which the British state is a sizable share holder. Wink, wink.

The bank made some statement about not wanting that type of customer which I found strange because the bank was subsidized by the British taxpayer which they have yet to pay back so I would have thought they would want to hold on to every customer.


Damn crooks.

UndroppedClanger's picture

BBC News is still trading on its old reputation. The general public is sooooo slow to perceive the shift to state mouthpiece, it's damnably frustrating.

Omen IV's picture

same in the US - the TV channels - CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, NYT, WP - are ALL seriously damaged or gone as news sources - pure propaganda

The NYT  - ONLY CONSISTENT  - facts based reporting is the Recipe Section - I can attest that Melissa Clark's Recipes have been tested in my kitchen and can be deemed true and correct.   She should get the Pultizer Prize for fact based reporting -

Squidbilly's picture
Squidbilly (not verified) JohnGaltUk Nov 23, 2016 10:16 AM

sputnik is less cucked than rt

RadioFlyer's picture
RadioFlyer (not verified) Nov 23, 2016 9:20 AM

I'll take RT over CNN and all other MSM because as a non snowflake, I can determine the difference between REAL and FAKE news.

Boomberg's picture

People are turning to RT simply because they know western media is so corrupted and RT is more reflective of facts and truth. Not that RT is 100% truth but most people know when their back is being pissed on.

CNONC's picture

I read RT regularly.  It is a news source with an agenda.  It doesn't attempt to hide its agenda, or if it does, it doesn't do it very well.  Why is that more problematic than the American or European MSM?  Or, how about VOA?  I read AlJazeerea too.  Another with an agenda.  I read alot of foreign press, and find that they all have an agenda.  I can sort it out myself.

HowdyDoody's picture

Just curious. What is its agenda?

Ghordius's picture

a polical agenda, aka a narrative in the case of media (meaning the framing story, the point of view)

Russian media, for example, have the propensity of supporting let's say Chinese claims, or promote Russian family values, or denigrate liberalism, the EU, Ukraine, etc.

and he is right, the refreshing part of the Russian media's agenda is that it's very transparent and openly visible

counterexample: Rupert Murdoch's media outlets are way more difficult to gauge

Zwelgje's picture

"Rupert Murdoch's media outlets are way more difficult to gauge."

For idiots that is.

Bemused Observer's picture

Thank you for mentioning that. It isn't having an agenda that is the problem...everyone has an agenda. It's when you try to hide it, disguise it, that it becomes an issue.

css1971's picture

And Europe goes full on fascist.



orangegeek's picture

Merkel cautioned that public opinion was being "manipulated" on the internet.



Implied message - cultural marxists to the rescue - nasty.


And Barry handed over ICANN to the UN - hopefully Trump cancels this too.


bada boom's picture

Seems like those in power are afraid of the war on fake governments.

CPL's picture

The old pot and kettle argument, who's fake news is more news worthy.  It's pretty funny watching them fuck up though.

PT's picture

It all started when we caught them (MSM) out lying about the little things.  Oh, but then we also caught them out lying about the big things.  Oh, and don't forget the lies by omission.  And now they pretend to be surprised.  Hey, MSM.  We know.  And we know you know we know.

Lorca's Novena's picture

What a GDAMN Farce!!! Why dont they just tell us the truth hat were useless eaters who provide some labor that they need and we should not be eductaed?

mary mary's picture

Once again, the "Fake News" meme was created by a small, private CATHOLIC college in Massachusetts.  The Church has not changed since it burned people at the stake for saying that Rome might not be the center of the universe.

Ghordius's picture

at least ISIS/ISIL has openly stated that they want to burn Rome. oh, how I love the sound of WASPishness in the morning ;-)

JohnGaltUk's picture

Hold on Merkel, you were the one that said that their were no corelation between the increased rapes in Germany and the refugees!!!!! Even though they were identified by eye witnesses as refugees.

Crash Overide's picture

Right on queue with the script, I wonder if Merkel got pizza on her hands?

Ricky Bobby's picture

I was going to reply with a flippant comment, but the thought of their crimes made me shudder, and I can find no humor in it.

flapdoodle's picture

The Deep State has gone all in with their remaining asset Angela Merkel. Since they were unable to cheat enough to get the NWO Queen Hillary in power in the US,  their prospects in France are not very good, nor in Italy, nor in Austria or the Netherlands and only so so in the UK after Brexut, Germany remains the last important bastion of the Zionazis were they remain in absolute power and Merkel is picking up the NWO mantle to attack Russia.

The question is whether the Germans still have enough national testosterone to kick the ex-Stasi informer out or will remain under the thumb of the Khazarian Deep State.

Long memory man's picture

yep, remember always she was in the STASI. Dresses a bit like Stalin I always thought, same style of jacket.

researchfix's picture

"yep, remember always she was in the STASI. Dresses a bit like Stalin I always thought, same style of jacket."

Thats the new Angela/Hillary/KimUn-style. Basically the Mao-jacket. But more colors and materials available.

Lucky Leprachaun's picture

Merkel was always presented as Helmut Kohl's protegee. But he said after his retirement that she was 'forced on' him. Who'd be powerfu enough to force somebody on a German Chancellor?


Ghordius's picture

that's easy. how about his party? the CDU? which has several factions?

the profound dislike that you see here on ZH about Merkel only started when Putin and Merkel started to disagree with each other

compare with Putin and Erdogan being best buddies, then fierce enemies and then back to buddies

meanwhile, Merkel is still a kind of power broker more then anything else. come on, do you really all think that a major conservative / center-right German political party does not have some German interests behind it? like... industrial interests?

don't you see the discrepancy in the narratives? from "Germany puppet of the US" to "Germany the wannabe hegemonic power in the EU"?

Ricky Bobby's picture

Ghordius don't you ever tire of defending the status quo. I have to believe you collect a nice salary for being a good apparachik.

flapdoodle's picture

If the coordinated attack on alternative media from the completely owned MSM in the US and those in power in the US and EU using the same "fake news" meme doesn't wake you up, nothing will. The power apparatus has realized that vast swathes of the populace are in danger of no longer buying the narrative and are projecting their own evil onto their true rival. The real extent of the monster is not revealed until the monster is under stress and is unable to expend as much energy and effort in cloaking itself. The breadth of the "gleichschaltung" applied within the Deep State should terrify anyone who has a smidgen of awareness left...

Ricky Bobby's picture

I cannot decide which nation is the most pozzed: Germany or Sweden

Pumpkin's picture

Burn in hell bitch!

Coldfire's picture

The Ossi golem speaks, right on cue.

shimmy's picture

These idiots just don't get it. It is amazing how stupid humans can be. So people are showing they are sick of your bullshit and your reaction is to ramp up the bullshit? I mean fuck, HOW DUMB CAN ONE GET.

buzzsaw99's picture

i do NAZI the problem with this. /s JOSEPH G WOULD BE PROUD BITCHEZ.

und now it is time to take ZEE SIEGFRIED OATH! springtime for hitler, and germany, springtime for merkel and lies...

Hans-Zandvliet's picture

The EU's war on Russian propaganda?

It's the EU's war on serious journalism abroad, after having won it at home.

Lucky Leprachaun's picture

Having said that, RT, Sputnik and all of the 'alternative TV news channels are every bit as pro PC, diversity and multicultutalism as  their Western counterparts.

HowdyDoody's picture

The EU have claimed that Russia shipping Russian oil to Syria, to be used by solely by Russian aircraft is a breach of EU sanctions on Syria.

The rabbit hole has rabbit holes in it.

cookies anyone's picture

Oh, how much I will rejoice when this aparatchicks get booted out

VW Nerd's picture

She is so heavily invested in the big lie.  What else would you expect from her?  She's all in like every other eurocrat.

bada boom's picture

Speaking of shit news and a little reality for people,


Sounds like he "exploded" at the NY Times too, NOT!


Trump calls the NY Times an American jewel!

A lot crap to listen to, but listen to Trump speak in this audio recording.

Boomberg's picture

"She warned that "Populism and political extremes are growing in Western democracies."

How dare populism become popular.


angry_dad's picture
angry_dad (not verified) Nov 23, 2016 9:27 AM

Now we have truth tellers being branded as fakes as the fraudsters work tirelessly to keep their debacles out of sight


Here we have another crooked woman running away from the truth about her incompetence, corruption, and arrogance.

MickV's picture

"Fake News" meme pushed by the Globalists as the #pizzagate scandal revs up.

Safelyundergroundlul's picture

This makes we wonder if Bitcoin can reach Mars. Also wonder how grand the euro devaluation is going to be. Interesting, fascist times. 

SubjectivObject's picture

Hey you 208 abstentions, what fucking spineless cretins you are.

The resolultion yes voters are simple statist monsters with a sp... well, chitin at least.