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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Il Girondino's picture

Not that bad as a start for the newly appointed torchbearer of the western freedom. 

I already feel so free, much more than I ever been before. Now, excuse me, the keeper of the reeducation camp is calling me

patrickhenry61's picture

Welcome to Brave New World and "1984" rolled up into one. I would think that especially George Orwell never thought that his nightmare novel would become true. Ministry of Truth, anyone? 

Fathead Slim's picture
Fathead Slim (not verified) Nov 23, 2016 11:55 AM

I hope Merkel pigs out on fake food and restricts herself to fake oxygen and fake water. Then the fake news msm can launch a fake day of fake mourning for her. I'll even fake shedding a tear.

Serpiko's picture

Thank you Markel I have two more web sites to check for news, no really honestly thanks.
I didn't know them before, but from a first quick look they seems to be pretty reliable sources for info

TeaClipper's picture

Reading between the lines. The cunts are shitting bricks because people are awakening, at for them, an alarming rate, and that is in no small part due to Alt media like RT.

Small Government Is Better's picture

Merkel is a communist wrapped up in a German democrat disguise.  I read both RT and Sputnik daily, right along with ZH.  These 3 websites provide more facts than all the other US media sites combined.  Sputnik and RT presented the story about the USS Zumwalt failing and having to be towed out of the Panama Canal several days ago.  The US media still are not presenting this story, since it shows that the $4.4 billion Zumwalt class of ships was a lousy waste of taxpayer funds (and it uses special guns which require ammunition that costs $0.8 million per round fired).

The conventional government sponsored media are the fake news sites.  I trust RT and Sputnik a lot more than I trust the NY Times or WaPo.

Too bad most Americans don't realize just how much propaganda gets pumped into their eyes and ears every day by US media.

Theremustbeanotherway's picture

GET MERKEL OUT ...!   Hopefully results in the French and Italian elections will precipitate this!!!

silvermail's picture

This statement from Frau Merkel stink mothballs of Nazi regime and cologne Adolf Hitler.
I am convinced that this statement meant a fat point in the political career of this disgusting Frau Merkel.

Theremustbeanotherway's picture

RT is at least a partial antidote to Bulls**t Boll**ks Cra*p ........I'm getting near the stage when I'm going to get rid of my TV and cancel my licence fee. I'm tired of being taxed for State propaganda and lies!! 

VWAndy's picture

 It aint RT they want to stop. They have a real problem with the truth. It goes against everything the snowflakes believe in. They cannot have people running around and showing people the truth. They spent billions feeding everyone all these lies. They cannot aford to let the truth out. The truth is tough to beat. It can stand up to good questions until the cows come home and then some. The truth dont need a coat of paint. It dont need to be protected. Or have its hand held. It dont give a shit about spelling or grammar or gender or skin color either.

   They hate the truth,reason and basic logic.

  Love and truth is tptb biggest fear. Thier best tools are blind faith and force.

Dickweed Wang's picture

They cannot aford to let the truth out. The truth is tough to beat.


This is excactly why those same entities hate Donald Trump so much.  That guy has spoken more "truth" in his campaign for President than any other politician in the last 60 years or so (JFK was the last).

VWAndy's picture

 I have my doubts about him also. Time will tell.

 About the book burners I have no doubts. Its a cult and not a nice one in any way.

Il Girondino's picture

Old joke about italian communists from the 50s. 

Hey, dad, is it true that donkeys can fly? 

Who the hell told you such a bullshit? 

I read it on L'unità (italian communist party newspaper)'d rather say they flit

Bemused Observer's picture

All you 'fake news' complainers, if you think you can just shut down these sites and the problem goes away, then you are stupider than I thought possible.

The only thing that MIGHT work, (which means you'll never do it) would be to CONFRONT AND ARGUE the expressed points with the people making them.

If you're right, you'll win the argument, or at least expose these so-called "lies" with your truthiness and facts. Hard to do when you don't HAVE truthiness and facts.

BTW, it has NOT escaped notice that these complainers never go into just WHAT these 'lies' are, merely that they are lies. No specifics, no point by point refutations...just a blanket statement that anything they say is a lie.

I suggest you come up with something better.

VWAndy's picture

 The book burners are back. Yes these are the same tools that burnt the books they did not like. Its part of the progressive cult. They dont do reason or logic either. They also dont like any questions about what thier real goals are either.

  In case you were not paying attention. They have been building this progressive movment into a cult. Just like happened in Germany. They dont care about people at all even the children. Its about the utopian future of the snowflake dream where everyone thinks just like they do,or dies.

  The other party is in on it to. Yes its fake opposition. Just like the WWF wrestling. Look at what the teachers are doing out here in CA. Its called sedition but the Rs stand down and let it slide. RINOs are letting them do every bit of it. In truth there is just one party. Money.

  We are getting played by both sides.

  The history books are full of spin. Those wont be burned. No no no they want to burn the truth up because they dont like it. It goes with the cult building. Today the best place to find the truth is the internet. So they naturally want to stop people from handing out the truth.

  This is part of turning a political movment into a state religion/cult.

mendigo's picture

Excellent points.

And speaking of fake news there was an excellent esay posted on zh yesterday and for some reason it vanished.

About Obamas non-legacy:

VWAndy's picture

 Yep I just wanted to give them enough rope to hang themselves with. The feral are fairly predictable.

LA_Goldbug's picture

" Today the best place to find the truth is the internet. So they naturally want to stop people from handing out the truth."

Hence just like with the word "conspiracy" THEY have rolled out a new one for the Masses, "Fake News". This is getting old but I understand that the snowflakes need to catch up so it will take time. With the internet it should take less time than it took me with out it at their age.

Overflow-admin's picture

Kleiner Schnurrbart fehlt, Führer Merkel?

Fuck off and sink in your sea of lies.

Archive_file's picture


Taras Bulba's picture

This is so absurd that I am reposting my comment on Taleb's article:

Today, just further evidence of the complete stupidity of govts in the West: resolution against RT and Sputnik.  Not one of these idiots in the EU can point to where those two news outlets are publishing propaganda-absolutely absurd but not surprising.  Nuland invariably had a hand in this.

opport.knocks's picture

LOLz - Radio Free Europe bombards the USSR and Russia for decades with zero to show for it. Now RT and Sputnik show up and play the same game (only better) and are a threat to western society.

Due to my boycott of MSM, I watched the US election results on RT. Jessie Ventura was a guest commentator and pointed out the interesting parallels between his own election and Trump. Also that Trump made a point of meeting with him after his win.

Neochrome's picture

Yeah, the brain slugs forbid UK media to identify terrorists as Muslim, I guess that's why any free reporting from Russia would be considered a "dangerous propaganda"...

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

If you want to shut up that East German cunt, and have the German peasants "drag the hag" out into the streets, all that Putin needs to do, is to "Man up".

IOW... "All Russian oil and gas sales to the EU must be paid in Gold and RMB, with the exact ratio adjusted regularly".

Never forget that ultimately, "All wars are Bankster wars".

Use what Shakespeare said about Lawyers, and apply it Banksters first. Note that you can hang them twice: when you kill their fiat with gold, and when you stretch their greasy necks or feed the Fargo chippers.

VWAndy's picture

 Yes he could do that. Funny thing that he has not. He could also spill the beans on the Clintons and the banks. But he has not.

 A big dose of truth is what the world needs. Now more than ever.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Just do the OPPOSITE of what she and her Globalist Masters say or want.

Sounds like I need to listen to more Hannity, RT and get streaming Sputnik.

Thanks for the tip, "Meer-kuh".

Fishy Rickster's picture

There is no fake news that is acceptable to the EU, unless it is their fake news.

War is peace.

pine_marten's picture

She's a book burner.  Only a fake "left" can support the likes of her.

VWAndy's picture

 Yep its a war on truth.

kochevnik's picture

Propaganda?  Govoril gorshku kotelok: uzh bol'no ty chjoren, druzhok. The pot calls the kettle black ..

francis scott falseflag's picture


All propaganda is hideous.

Some is less hideous than others.

(Zum beispiel ours is wunderschoen)

tuetenueggel's picture

Truth never needs any Popaganda. Liers need it well.

RusBear's picture

Fuck it! More reasons to read RT and ZH! ;)

VWAndy's picture

 Take the truth out to main street. It will fly well there. Tell all the kool aid drinkers to bring that weak shit here so we can stomp it into the mud. It would be my great pleasure.

VWAndy's picture

 Fuck the book burners!

Dilluminati's picture

It was when she was named PERSON OF THE YEAR 

"Angela Merkel Chancellor of the Free World"

By the ministry of truth no less who brought you

My thought is that neither of these two represent western values when they collude with the press as the wikileaks show, then want to censor news, and finally destroy western culture with their immigration failures!


Both of these two belong in prison for crimes against their respective populaces.





tuetenueggel's picture

too expensive.

Hang them. I´ll pay for the sloope.

VWAndy's picture

 Fake news?  lol 

  Book burners is what they are. They want to burn all the best sources for reason and logic. Its a cult thing. Tptb cant handle the truth. Honest folks should have nothing to fear from the truth. We do have good reason to fear all the lies for sure.

 Let us champion the truth whatever it is.

Thoreau's picture

Perhaps Merkel has enough Muslim support to win? They may be a minority, but she'll get the vast majority of their support. This election will decide the fate of Germany, and ultimately, Europe... unless the EU fractures and comes apart.

Twox2's picture

Musings on Fake News

What is fake news? Is fake news the ultimate fake news story? Maybe. Does fake news exist? Well, yes and no.

News by its very nature comes with a point of view. In theory, "facts" are black and white, but most everything else fades to gray. In practice, however, even facts are subject to scrutiny and dispute.

The fake news meme has taken the internet by a storm in recent weeks. The original story was reputedly written by a hitherto unknown assistant professor from Merrimack College named Melissa Zimdars.

The list of fake news sites provided clearly came with a point of view. What criteria did Ms. Zimdars use to create her list? Are they credible? Are they objective? Does the list have any basis other than her opinion? In an unwitting display of irony, her list is the poster child for fake news. The mainstream media picked it up and gave it wide exposure...because it served their purposes.

Who gets to be the arbiter of truth? The New York Times? Drudge Report? You? Me? I doubt you want me to be your arbiter of truth (although it would make a great signature line), and I certainly don't want Melissa Zimdars to be mine.

All across time, various forms of media have been used by those in power as a club to bludgeon and discredit those with a different point of view. Vladimir Lenin said, "A lie told often enough becomes the truth." Vlad was a pretty smart guy.

We the public have bestowed on the established media an aura of credibility. That's how they became established. To the extent that they honor that trust, they get to play arbiter. When they betray that trust in the minds of sufficient numbers in their audience, their certificate of credibility is revoked and the aura eviscerated. We are now seeing revocation writ large across the media landscape as trust continues to erode, and new sources arise.

Are some sites so far to the left or right of mainstream thought that they can be categorized as fake? Are they purely propaganda? Maybe. But consider, facts aside, in a secular world, truth is a continuum, not a point. What you see very often depends on where you sit. Over time, the consuming public will reward those that are deserving with trust, and relegate the others to the dust bin of history.

Our only protection from the the tyranny of truth is to let the broad swath of (us) the unwashed citizenry decide. To indiscriminately label news outlets as fake is to censor according to ones (often political) views. Melissa made this mistake. She would be appalled if I did likewise...

Arbiter of Truth

nathan1234's picture

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.

The EU leaders and their Muslim imports will cause the disintegration



tuetenueggel's picture

Fotyga ?

Sounds Polish.,

The Polish alrady begged 1938/1939 for punishment. And they got is.

From Germany and from Russia. Hey Vlad, lets do it again ?

erk's picture

Totalitarian media censorship legislation from the EU, I wonder what freedoms they intend to usurp next?

tuetenueggel's picture

eating Caviar and drinking red Krim.

Both russian prpopaganda. But a fantastic one.

Compared to McShit and dogshit hut

Pinot-Noir's picture

I was looking at RT before the BBC for the situation in Syria last september. They were showing satellite footage of Isis supplying the Turks with oil.

It showed the lines of trucks and oil carriers in the convoys.

It showed the convoys being bombed by the Ruskies.

It showed the Isis wankers being treated in Turkish hospitals.

...and the BBC were busy showing some shit about 'I'm a celebrity get me out of here!', and about how many pints of donkey sperm some c-class celebrity could drink!!


Fake news???   What a load of bollocks!!

VWAndy's picture

 We should take this Fake news meme and club the progressives with it. Trot out the book burning meme. They went a bit to far. Its a great oppertunity to remove some rose colored glasses. Book burning is not a debate they can ever win.