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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Safelyundergroundlul's picture

I know alot of them often don't even show up. Just collect the salary. Good 'ol eu. 

Long memory man's picture

There is a real sense of panic with the Eurocrats nowadays. To say that RT and Sputnik are pedding false news is one thing, I say prove it.

That would be impossible to do, this is outright totalitarianism and something that Farage has been warning about for years.

The BBC is hopeless and their reporters are really stenographers for the politicos.

Merkel will be gone soon (I hope), I think that Italy will shake itself free and maybe France, then game over for the time being.

Merkel is a war bunny, completely nuts.

 

 

IridiumRebel's picture

Germans, please vote this C U N T outta office.

Lucky Leprachaun's picture

Do these people have any sense of irony?  Fake news indeed.

In any event this will only add traffic to the two sites in question.

beijing expat's picture

Merkel is Hitler without the charisma.

SharkBit's picture

All omnipotent Merkel, please tell me what I need to know, what is real/fake, how I need to think, how I need to vote.  The real fascists being exposed on a daily basis now.

Omega_Man's picture

get rid of this bitch now

WillyGroper's picture

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

how bout we give mutti a medal...she got it right, just the wrong direction.

just displaying the length tptb will go to hide their evil deeds.

citizens have more eyes/brains than their jackboots.

Gentle-Giant's picture

VPN way to go !

They want their EU army and have to prevent that the people hear the real news, that there is no threat from Russia and in the process shut down Independant media. I am sure many others will follow. Like the witch hunt in the US.

 

What if Russia would turn of the gas on these fake politicians.

cherry picker's picture

Facebook and Google are not required to survive.  World will turn without them, information can still be shared.

There are alternatives out there which do not demand sacrificing privacy or basic rights.

Merkel and big government, stuff it, goes for Facebook, Microsoft and Google too.

Dilluminati's picture

This is a sad moment in supposed democracies, sure Tila Tequila and the alt-right is a mess, sure RT has a biased spin, but when a supposed democracy cannot tolerate that speech, a heil salute is against the law, however muslim immigrants are allowed.. Merkel your exposed for what you are.

Now I laughed at Tila Tequila Uncorked and Tila Tequila 2: Backdoored and Squirting, this is the alt-right that people are repudiating?  I'm all in for the good laugh as Tila works her @ss off in these videos.  But let me tell you were the globalist really screwed up.

By confusing legitimate opposition with fake news, legitimate opposition with hate groups, confusing controlling the narrative and a failing main street media with ridiculous failed policies, LIKE HOW IS THAT GREEK DEBT DOING?  HOW ARE THOSE MILLION IMMIGRANTS WORKING OUT?

Merkel should not seek reelection like Johnson

http://millercenter.org/president/speeches/speech-3388

Lyndon B. Johnson understood he could not put lipstick on a failed policy.  Lipstick on a failed candidate or "identity  politics" won't help.  

Merkel you let and encouraged 1 million useless eaters into your country, marginalizzing the message of your spectatcular failure pushes people to alternate news.  The real failure is the German main street media for not calling those useless eaters exactly wtf they are.

You give voice to alt media when you ignore the welfare of the public.

 

 

 

Kina's picture

Knowledge in the wrong hands is dangerous to government, and the public is the wrong hands.

Government wants there to be one view, one understanding, one solution, their own.

This is what Merkle hates. How can she help dilute the cultural and ethnic identity of Europe when people are calling out that this is the agenda?

How can she betray Germany when people can see her at it?

Jtrillian's picture

Angela Merkel... you're FIRED.

Able Ape's picture

Did someone fart or was that Merkel talking?...

buzzsaw99's picture

abolish fake propaganda and lies. start with the global warming hoax and 9/11 coverage.

balz's picture

This War of Free Speech is sponsored by your local Liberal Elite.

silverer's picture

Of course, Merkel. Your power and control depends on your total control of the information stream to the sheeple. We get it, but you don't. Your mainstream mouthpieces are FINISHED. What the sheeple are beginning to understand is that the government sheepdogs are actually wolves.

Witness's picture

Sure Merkel. Throw the name RT around, telling people who've never heard of it how fake it is, so they will

most certainly check it out, only to find out that it's probably more close to the truth than whatever

the fuck flies out of your mouth.

headfake's picture

I watch all the main news channels with an open mind and RT from what i can see, tells the news as it is not like the liars at CNN

Kina's picture

I realised how manipulated and filtered our local Australian news was when one day many many years ago, coming back from overseas, I picked a Singaporean newspaper discussing Australian issues. My eyes were opened.

samsara's picture

Same happened to me.

In 2000ish I flew to South America and watched CNN on THEIR channels.

I was blown away as to their angle of the stories and the content.

I KNEW that wouldn't be aired on US TV.  

THATs why when I got back I googled "Alternative News"  and started taking links from links

And Never looked back.

Found www.FromTheWilderness.com, www.DieOff.com  , www.TheOilDrum.com

and about 7 years ago found www.ZeroHedge.com when it was a Blog...

 

MickV's picture

Is this "Fake News"?

 

Obama bundler Democrat operative, who has met with Obama at the WH and on AF1, accused of child rape.

 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/11/20/kiah-lawson-terry-bean-...

Kina's picture

And bad news Merkle, Samantha Powers is gone, Trump has arrived, and has a giant fist to shove up your Russian hating arse, I hope to hear your screams from here.

chilller's picture

Evidence Angie....where's the evidence??

Ya can't just go around "Branding" someone just because their views aren't the same as yours...otherwise there would be no democratic party.

spanish inquisition's picture

Merkel "Please stick with good propaganda from the west."

Panic Mode's picture

Sigh.... these muppets never learn

Omen IV's picture

NOT minimize ......distort and cover up!

Joe A's picture

"Listen to Mutti. Listen to us, the government. We know what is good for you. Don't listen to them, the other news channels. Especially not the news channels of a foreign government. They don't know what is good for you. We do. There is a good boy/girl/gender neutral".

Lou Reid already said it: You cannot always trust your mother.

WTFUD's picture

Brings to mind Lou Reed's ' Satellite ( of the Waves - AKA - Tough ) Love '; gotta go listen to it now, it's been years.

' I've been told that you've been bold with Harry, Mark and John . . . '

Satellite of Love, Satellite of Love, Satellite of Love, Satellite of Love . . .

There's an ill wind that blows Merkel & The Crazy Gang no good! Clock's ticking MF'ers!

Aging Skeptic's picture

Does Russia do information warfare - without a doubt, I would expect nothing less.

Are Merkel and eurocrats being disingenious - without a doubt.  Merkel represents dying throes of old globalist establishment.  They have to go, to make room for the new.

You are watching two power poles aligning against each other.  Remember it's about "multipolar world."  It is European pole vs. Asian pole, with Russia eventually torn between the two (probably through some sort of conflict).  The game is set, grab popcorn and enjoy the fireworks.  Rise of populist movements in Europe will only help propel this development and produce stronger alliance in the end, perhaps not EU, but something similar and more organic - like military and economic cooperation organization.  We are about to witness rise of new "organic" globalism formed along different lines and aligned with populist rebellion.  But make no mistake about it, the ultimate agenda did not change at all - globalist oriented world with multipolar power structure, where poles balance and check each other's power (a la Cold War style juxtaposition).

savedeposit's picture

Orwell:
“TRUTH – It’s the New Hate Speech: “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act”
"Truth is treason in the empire of lies"

JohnGaltUk's picture

"we must confront this phenomenon and if necessary, regulate it."

 

Letter

 

Dear Heir Merkel,

Can I listen to Jews this time round? It's just last time our German Leader told us that we could not listen to foreign radio either, like the BBC; will this also apply this time Heir Merkal.

Also can you clarify for me Heir Merkal will I have to refer to the motherland as the Fifth Reich.

Thank you, I look fowards to perhaps meeting you at the Nuremburg Rally next Sunday.

John Galt

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

Oh, OK Angela, perhaps the gubmint needs establish accreditation regulations for any online content that feels kinda newsy.  Make MDB your Direktor of Akkreditation.

Gubmint telling you what's real and what isn't.  Boy, the world will be a better place then.

Vardaman's picture

These people are muttering about "fake news" to distract from the actual message that is being sent:  "Bugger off, we don't want anymore of your "leadership."

Jack's Raging Bile Duct's picture

What a dutiful little puppet she is. Dancing to the USA's tune so promptly, so effortlessly. It's difficult to discern whether she is merely a joyous house slave, or has some incredibly awful history to be kept confidential.

Hillarys Server's picture

Merkel has filled German streets with Sudanese street gangs, silent women in full body burkas and middle aged men washing their anuses in public water fountains, and she has the gall to tell us she'll be the arbiter of what people can read?

WTFUD's picture

When matters are not going your way Double Down on the Oppression. It's an Admission that they've Lost the War of Words which should provide us the Inspiration for the Final Push.

Schweinhund Merkel.

Like Everything Else this has an 98.72% chance of blowing up in Merkel's and Stassi EU's stupid fucking faces. I could be wrong as Hillary had the same %age chance of becoming POTUS. Darn that Fake News shit.

These bastards are ripe for Hanging.

small axe's picture

Next we'll be practicing duck & cover under our school desks again...the 50s and 60s were very good years for government propaganda and repression. TPTB are having flashbacks.

I am too old for this shit

Aging Skeptic's picture

I experienced Cold War on Soviet side.  Never bought the whole setup.  It was a nice riveting tale though, certainly helped advance globalist agenda.  MAD was a fake.  Was never going to happen.  These people are not stupid enough to obliterate the world.  It was a colossal well-planned bluff.  U.S. fed the U.S.S.R. all necessary technology for strategic parity to maintain the illusion.  Soviet Gensecs were in on the game.  It was fun in a morbid sort of way.  Now there is a new game afoot.

Dilluminati's picture

Go out and get a huge wooden salad fork for Sow Merkel and remember there are probably a million valid and rational reasons as a German to vote her from office.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/05/04/germany-wel...

She is done and should have not run like Lyndon Johnson instead of doubled down on an already failed policy of zirp and immigration

 

Quinvarius's picture

You can make a strong argument that the source of all evil is actually stupidity and/or ignorance.  And this argument can be made into a proof that the politicians in the EU are evil. Then you can extrapolate that they will do terrible things because they are too GD stupid/evil to know any better.

In general, people won't do a thing that is bad for them, if they know what they are actually doing.  So I don't think these idiocrats in the EU know what they are doing, as they try to stuff Western Civilization into the toilet and flush it.

moneybots's picture

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

 

The interesting thing is that's also what Merkel is trying to do: manipulate public opinion.

CatsPaw's picture

Wrong, she is going one stap further, censorship.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

The "beginning" of Angela's "end"

Herdee's picture

Technology to the rescue. Is everyone to watch TV? Full of useless commercials and propaganda from government that has paid-off reporters as cheap street whores?