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Summer of democracy in Eastern Europe

What comes to mind with thinking about politics in Eastern Europe: Wide support for authoritarian parties and governments? Not if you take a look at recent developments. IE-member Harald Schumann invites you to challenge these assumptions in our latest column about this “Summer of Democracy” from which the rest of Europe could take some lessons on spirit and courage.

The imposed silence

In this summer of racist comments, claims and actions, Investigate Europe would like to turn your attention to Brazil and an exclusive long-read in which Alexandra Lucas Coelho, a Portuguese writer interviews the Brazilian anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro.

There is a lot we Europeans can learn.

Indigenous populations are better prepared than us for future catastrophes

Alexandra Lucas Coelho talks to Eduardo Viveiros de Castro. In this interview with, and portrait of Brazil’s famous anthropologist Viveiros de Castro discusses Bolsonaro’s cruelties in Brazil, the strength of the indigenous populations and what Europe’s colonialist perspective on the past has to do with all of it.

The disinformation machine

Right-wing populists dominate the political discourse on social media platforms in Europe far more than their voter share would suggest.

Digital platforms allow minor (and often malevolent) actors and political fringe groups to have access to a far-reaching medium that can be used to proliferate disinformation and stir resentments of all kind, and there are plausible arguments to link the rise of the Neo-nationalists in the US and across Europe with this new phenomenon.

The Investigate Europe team of journalists 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.

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.

In a polarised world, journalists must hold on to their curiosity

Our lives change with every technological leap. As this happens, there are certain issues journalists, scientists and activists cannot touch without risking ridicule. One such topic is possible health risks from exposure to radiation from mobile technology. As 5G is being rolled out, yet another label is pinned on critics: They are communicating Russian propaganda. Ingeborg Eliassen argues that this makes it more important than ever for journalists to ask the difficult questions.

BlackRock: The financial leviathan that bears down on Europe’s decisions

We have recently published an English translation of a report written by our colleague, Jordan Pouille, for Mediapart. We hope this will make our research on BlackRock – and with it our main findings – accessible to all our readers. The report looks at the financial and political influence of one of the most powerful investment companies in the world.