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European elections: EU institutions prepared to counter disinformation

The EU institutions are playing their part to defend the European elections on 6-9 June against disinformation and information manipulation targeting European democracy.

A close-up image of a person’s hand placing a paper ballot into a slot of a wooden ballot box, symbolizing the act of voting. The image underscores the importance of informed voting and the fight against online disinformation in democratic processes.”

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The European elections are a flagship of European democracy. As documented by e.g. the European Digital Media Observatory, disinformation actors from inside and outside the EU seek to undermine the integrity of the electoral process, trust in democratic processes at large and sow division and polarisation in our societies. According to the Eurobarometer, 81% of the EU citizens agree that news or information that misrepresent reality or is even false is a problem for democracy.

Attempts to mislead citizens

Institutions, authorities, civil society actors and fact-checkers such as the European Digital Media Observatory, the European Fact-Checking Standards Network and EUvsDisinfo have detected and exposed numerous attempts to mislead voters with manipulated information in recent months.

Disinformation actors have pushed false information about how to votediscouraged citizens from voting, or sought to sow division and polarisation ahead of the vote by hijacking high-profile or controversial topics. Sometimes these attempts to deceive consist in flooding the information space with an abundance of false and misleading information, all with the aim to hijack the public debate. Often top politicians and leaders are targeted by information manipulation campaigns. Several European policies are often target of disinformation: support to Ukraine, the European Green Deal, migration.

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