Recent experience shows EU measures against fake news are problematic

The EU is stepping up its fight against fake news. It recently published a new policy document (the ‘Communication on Tackling online disinformation’ of 26 April 2018) proposing several measures against fake news.

But the EU is already actively pursuing an anti-fake news campaign, specifically directed at Kremlin disinformation. It started a website called ‘EU vs Disinfo’, where it selects articles the EU qualifies as fake news and ‘pro-Kremlin disinformation’. It is a type of naming and shaming strategy, where the EU links to the media which in its eyes are ‘disinforming outlets’. On EU vs Disinfo, the EU accused three Dutch media of spreading fake news. However, …read more

ECHR in Tierbefreier v. Germany – Monkey Business, undercover reporting by an animal rights group

The case of Tierbefreier E.V. v. Germany before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) concerned the dissemination of a film of 20 minutes with the title ‘’Poisoning for Profit’’, showing monkeys used for research in a laboratory. The film was based on footage made by an undercover journalist who had used a hidden camera to document how the monkeys were treated by staff and what their living conditions were like. Before the applicant association Tierbefreier E.V. made the film public parts of the footage had been showed on TV by various broadcasting companies. The content of the film consisted to a large extent of accusations that the company using the monkeys did not live up to existing legal standards for using research animals. The German courts issued an injunction against Tierbefreier …read more