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‘Fake news’ [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Written by Marcin Grajewski,

fake news and misinformation on internet concept

© santiago silver / Fotolia

Attempts at influencing or distorting elections in the United States and other countries, including some European Union Member States, have drawn attention to what is commonly referred to as ‘fake news’, or false news posing as factual stories. Although the phenomenon of generating misleading news stories is at least as old as the printing press, the growth of social media has led to a very significant proliferation of this phenomenon. Some outlets use deceitful headlines and content to boost readership, in a search of higher advertising revenue. Other sources, often sponsored by certain state actors, are accused of spreading ‘fake news’ for entirely political ends.

In March 2018, the European Commission published the Final Report of the High Level Expert Group on Fake News and Online Disinformation, which proposes ways to combat the phenomenon. In April a Commission communication followed, entitled ‘Tackling online disinformation: a European Approach.

This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports published by international think tanks on ‘fake news’ and broader related issues.

Les manipulations de l’information, un défi pour nos démocraties
Centre d’analyse, de prévision et de stratégie, September 2018

News use across social media platforms 2018
Pew Research Center, September 2018

EU elections in the era of fake news
Friends of Europe, BEUC, August 2018

Bots in Brazil: The activity of social media bots in Brazilian elections
Wilson Center, August 2018

The legal framework to address “fake news”: Possible policy actions at the EU level
Centre for European Policy Studies, July 2018

Trust, misinformation, and the declining use of social media for news: Digital News Report 2018
Reuters Institute for Journalism Studies, June 2018

Searching for a stronghold in the fight against disinformation
Centre for International Governance Innovation, June 2018

How Sweden is preparing for Russia to hack its election
Carnegie Europe, May 2018

Privatising censorship
Centre for European Policy Studies, May 2018

Russia’s active measures architecture: Task and purpose
German Marshall Fund, May 2018

How Europe and Canada are fighting foreign political ads on social media
Council on Foreign Relations, May 2018

The Russian propaganda machine stutters along, blinkered
Wilson Center, May 2018

Russian social media influence: Understanding Russian propaganda in Eastern Europe
Rand Corporation, April 2018

The “European approach” to fighting disinformation: Lessons for the United States
German Marshall Fund, April 2018

It’s not just Facebook: Countering Russia’s social media offensive
German Marshall Fund, April 2018

How can social media companies stop the spread of fake news?
Royal united Services Institute, April 2018

Managing the risk of fake news
Hoover Institute, April 2018

Fighting fake news: Caught between a rock and a hard place
European Council on Foreign Relations, March 2018

The science of fake news
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, March 2018

Ungoverned space: How surveillance capitalism and AI undermine democracy
Centre for International Governance Innovation, March 2018

Is social media replacing journalism?
Carnegie Europe, March 2018

Responsible reporting in an age of irresponsible information
German Marshall Fund, March 2018

The danger of truth decay across Europe
Rand Corporation, March 2018

The dark side of big data
Demos, March 2018

A beginner’s guide to battling fake news: Three approaches to consider before ‘sharing’
Atlantic Council, March 2018

Understanding the promise and limits of automated fact-checking
Reuters Institute for Journalism Studies, February 2018

Measuring the reach of “fake news” and online disinformation in Europe
Reuters Institute, February 2018

Could Europe’s New Data Protection Regulation curb online disinformation?
Council on Foreign Relations, February 2018

Fake news and what (not) to do about it
Clingendael, February 2018

Gummibäume, fake news und barbusige Proteste
Friedrich Naumann Stiftung, January 2017

Online information laundering: The role of social media
German Marshall Fund, January 2018

Social networks are creating a global crisis of democracy
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, March 2018

The diminishing role of facts in American public life
Rand Corporation, January 2018

Don’t let liberals end opinion diversity under cover of ‘fake news’ campaign
Heritage Foundation, January 2018

Bias, bullshit and lies: Audience perspectives on low trust in the media
Reuters Institute for Journalism Studies, December 2017

In social media broken?
Cato Institute, December 2017

The ‘combination’: An instrument in Russia’s information war in Catalonia
Fundacion Real Instituto Elcano, November 2017

Countering Russian information operations in the age of social media
Council on Foreign Relations, November 2017

The fake news toolkit
Demos, November 2017

To filter or not to filter: That is the question
Centre for European Policy Studies, September 2017

Fakten checken reicht nicht
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik, September 2017

The political slant of web portal news and the implications relating to the fake news phenomenon
Korea Development Institute, September 2017

Weeding out fake news: An approach to social media regulation
Wilfried Martens Centre, July 2017

Countering online radicalisation
European Council on Foreign Relations, July 2017

Was tun gegen fake news?
Friedrich Naumann Stiftung, June 2017

Fake news is bad enough: But fake science is even more dangerous
Hoover Institute, June 2017

Russian election interference: Europe’s counter to fake news and cyber attacks
Carnegie Europe, May 2017

The cyber-enabled information struggle
Finnish Institute of International Affairs, May 2017

Political communications in the “fake news” Era: Six lessons for Europe
German Marshall Fund, February 2017

Can fake news be beaten?
Carnegie Europe, January 2017

Hacking, fake news, disinformation: Business as usual in the US-Russian relations or a deeper democratic challenge?
Barcelona Centre for International Affairs, January 2017

How to avoid a post-truth world
European Council on Foreign Relations, January 2017

Fake news und Social Bots im Bundestagswahlkampf
Hanns Seidel Stiftung, January 2017

What science tells us about how to combat fake news
Brookings Institution, January 2017

Reporting politics in ‘post-truth’ America
Brookings Institution, December 2016

Fake news is not a technology problem
American Enterprise Institute, December 2016


Read this briefing on ‘‘Fake news’‘ on the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

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