The Disinformation Machine

Disinformation has been an element of politics since politics began, with propaganda used by governments and their intelligence agencies to influence the political landscape both at home and abroad. But disinformation and misleading narratives have been, for the most part the privilege of those in power.

Abril 2019

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Disinformation has been an element of politics since politics began, with propaganda used by governments and their intelligence agencies to influence the political landscape both at home and abroad. But disinformation and misleading narratives have been, for the most part the privilege of those in power.

The rise of digital platforms has changed this, and faster than society, laws and even politicians can keep up with. Now minor (and often malevolent) actors and political fringe groups have access to a far-reaching medium that can be used to proliferate disinformation and stir resentments of all kind.

There are plausible arguments to link the rise of the Neo-nationalists in the US and across Europe with this new phenomenon.

Investigate Europe team has spoken to more than 100 experts, scientists, politicians and social media platform staff to find out how the disinformation engine works, who controls it, who uses it and how public authorities and companies react to it. The result: Europe is not sufficiently prepared to stop the disinformation machine.

This research shows:


  • what methods the New Right uses to disseminate disinformation,
  • that the marketing mechanisms of social media platforms offer ideal conditions for the New Right,
  • that a specially created EU body to clarify disinformation is struggling with legitimacy and competence problems,
  • that the national governments and the EU Commission will transfer control to the companies, namely Google, Facebook and Twitter, which will, however, earn money from the campaigns,
  • that transparency standards for election advertising on the internet are not sufficient and, moreover, have so far only been partially implemented.

Article: EU experts pressured to soften fake news regulations, say insiders
This article, by Nico Schmidt and Daphné Dupont-Nivet, was originally published by OpenDemocracy and is republished here under a Creative Commons licence. It shows how Google and Facebook put pressure on EU experts to soften European guidelines on online disinformation and fake news.

Article: Far right groups shout the loudest on social media
You can read the English version of a pre-news story that we published before the main publication, in an article by Nico Schmidt that originally appeared in Der Tagesspiegel and has been translated for this website. You will also find links to our media partners that have published the news in German, Dutch and Portuguese.

Publicaciones

Investigação sobre discurso nacionalista nas eleições europeias no DN
Investigação sobre discurso nacionalista nas eleições europeias no DN

Diário de Notícias, Portugal

1 abril 2019

Kleine Parteien, große Wirkung: Rechtspopulisten dominieren politische Diskurse auf Social-Media-Plattformen
Kleine Parteien, große Wirkung: Rechtspopulisten dominieren politische Diskurse auf Social-Media-Plattformen

Der Tagesspiegel, Germany

2 abril 2019

Partidos nacionalistas dominam debate online antes de eleição europeia.
Partidos nacionalistas dominam debate online antes de eleição europeia.

Folha de S.Paulo, Brazil

2 junio 2019

 Nationalistisch rechts domineert Europees online debat
Nationalistisch rechts domineert Europees online debat

Investico, Netherlands

2 abril 2019

Partidos nacionalistas dominam o debate online na Europa
Partidos nacionalistas dominam o debate online na Europa

Diário de Notícias, Portugal

2 abril 2019

Avant les élections européennes, les partis d’extrême droite dominent le débat en ligne
Avant les élections européennes, les partis d’extrême droite dominent le débat en ligne

Le Monde, France

3 abril 2019

Exclusivo Chega e Iniciativa Liberal dominam campanha nas redes sociais
Exclusivo Chega e Iniciativa Liberal dominam campanha nas redes sociais

Diário de Notícias, Portugal

7 abril 2019

A campanha de fake news que está a abalar a Europa
A campanha de fake news que está a abalar a Europa

Diário de Notícias, Portugal

13 abril 2019

Fake News zur Europawahl: Google und Facebook haben Probleme mit der Transparenz
Fake News zur Europawahl: Google und Facebook haben Probleme mit der Transparenz

Der Tagesspiegel, Germany

13 abril 2019

Migrationspakt, Europawahl: Wie gefährlich ist rechte Desinformation im Netz?
Migrationspakt, Europawahl: Wie gefährlich ist rechte Desinformation im Netz?

Der Tagesspiegel, Germany

14 abril 2019

Exclusivo Como o Facebook fez "chantagem" para não haver regulação europeia
Exclusivo Como o Facebook fez "chantagem" para não haver regulação europeia

Diário de Notícias, Portugal

20 abril 2019

Er det mulig å stanse falske nyheter? Eller blir det ren sensur?
Er det mulig å stanse falske nyheter? Eller blir det ren sensur?

Stavanger Aftenblad, Norway

26 abril 2019

Manipulacje w sieci. Nie musisz wygrać wyborów, żeby rządzić
Manipulacje w sieci. Nie musisz wygrać wyborów, żeby rządzić

Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland

27 abril 2019

"Facebook espalhou informação anti-semita que dizia combater"
"Facebook espalhou informação anti-semita que dizia combater"

Diário de Notícias, Portugal

27 abril 2019

En av tre redd for å bli lurt på sosiale medier
En av tre redd for å bli lurt på sosiale medier

Stavanger Aftenblad, Norway

27 abril 2019

EU i alarmberedskap mot russisk innblanding. Men er det grunnlag for frykten?
EU i alarmberedskap mot russisk innblanding. Men er det grunnlag for frykten?

Stavanger Aftenblad, Norway

30 abril 2019

Zolang mensen klikken
Zolang mensen klikken

De Groene Amsterdammer, Netherlands

1 mayo 2019

Europees systeem tegen nepnieuws stelt niets voor
Europees systeem tegen nepnieuws stelt niets voor

Investico, Netherlands

1 mayo 2019

 Podcast: Hoe bestrijdt Europa desinformatie?
Podcast: Hoe bestrijdt Europa desinformatie?

Investico, Netherlands

1 mayo 2019

Così crescono le bufale web
Così crescono le bufale web

Il Fatto Quotidiano, Italy

5 mayo 2019

La Commissione Ue appalta alle aziende la “censura privata”
La Commissione Ue appalta alle aziende la “censura privata”

Il Fatto Quotidiano, Italy

5 mayo 2019

Han mener kunstig intelligens kan avdekke desinformasjon foran høstens valg
Han mener kunstig intelligens kan avdekke desinformasjon foran høstens valg

Stavanger Aftenblad, Norway

8 mayo 2019

Alle elsket Facebook. Nå lurer mange på hva slags troll som er løs.
Alle elsket Facebook. Nå lurer mange på hva slags troll som er løs.

Stavanger Aftenblad, Norway

9 mayo 2019

Jostein Gripsrud deltok i innvandringsdebatt. Plutselig kastet Facebook ham ut.
Jostein Gripsrud deltok i innvandringsdebatt. Plutselig kastet Facebook ham ut.

Stavanger Aftenblad, Norway

12 mayo 2019

Fake news, così Facebook ha ricattato i commissari Ue
Fake news, così Facebook ha ricattato i commissari Ue

Il Fatto Quotidiano, Italy

19 mayo 2019

Facebook hat offenbar Mitglieder einer EU-Expertengruppe unter Druck gesetzt, die Desinformation bekämpfen sollten
Facebook hat offenbar Mitglieder einer EU-Expertengruppe unter Druck gesetzt, die Desinformation bekämpfen sollten

BuzzFeed, Germany

4 junio 2019

Facebook and Google pressured EU experts to soften fake news regulations, say insiders
Facebook and Google pressured EU experts to soften fake news regulations, say insiders

OpenDemocracy, UK

21 mayo 2019

«Hårreisende uakseptabelt» sier Nettavisen-sjef om Faktasjekk-jobbing for Facebook
«Hårreisende uakseptabelt» sier Nettavisen-sjef om Faktasjekk-jobbing for Facebook

Stavanger Aftenblad, Norway

28 mayo 2019

Javel? Kan dette være sant?
Javel? Kan dette være sant?

Stavanger Aftenblad, Norway

4 junio 2019

Polakker i Norge frykter barnevernet. Noen er så redde at de tar med seg ungene og drar hjem igjen
Polakker i Norge frykter barnevernet. Noen er så redde at de tar med seg ungene og drar hjem igjen

Stavanger Aftenblad, Norway

8 junio 2019

Plattformbeobachter mit großer Plattformnähe
Plattformbeobachter mit großer Plattformnähe

Netzpolitik, Germany

1 febrero 2022

Disinformation analysis
Disinformation analysis

The Journalists' Club, Portugal

31 julio 2019

Fake news, l’osservatorio Ue ha legami con Facebook&C.
Fake news, l’osservatorio Ue ha legami con Facebook&C.

Il Fatto Quotidiano, Italy

2 febrero 2022