Why Are European Governments So Terrified of 'Fake News'?
12-02-2018 17:00 (local time)

The Swedish government's innovation agency, Vinnova, is financing a project led by the combined forces of Swedish mainstream media to, in the words of Vinnova, "prevent fake news and unfounded statements from spreading and playing a decisive role in the Swedish elections in 2018".

• How adorable that Swedish media, which has been going out of its way to conceal and beautify news about Sweden – migrant rapes and other crimes, for example -- in its news coverage, suddenly and conveniently in election season, pretends to care about whether Swedish voters can access correct information.

• Ultimately, the unholy alliance of government agencies and media giants to silence criticism of government policies in an election year in the name of "fake news", is not only indicative of an astonishing contempt for established democratic principles and the freedom of expression and information. It also reveals how truly terrified the political establishment is of falling from power, and just how far it will go in compromising democratic principles in order to be able to cling to that power.

• In France, President Emmanuel Macron has threatened to go as far as to block entire websites during election season in order to fight "fake news". He is expected to present new legislation on the topic in the near future.

• In the UK, Prime Minister Theresa May is setting up a "rapid response fake news unit". The purpose is, according to a news report by Sky News, to "monitor social media and challenge false stories".

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