Disinfo: European Commission and European Parliament wish to censor corona-scepticism

Summary

The next step appears to be the criminalisation of “lies” related to the coronavirus and parallel censorship of corona-scepticism in the media, including on social network. The European Commission and the European Parliament are moving in this direction.

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory, sharing a recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative about Western governments deliberately exaggerating the coronavirus pandemic in order to advance the interests of “globalist élites” and multinational corporations. The article also contains the recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that EU efforts to counter coronavirus-related disinformation are attempting to censor dissenting views and/or are motivated by Russophobia. The European Union's commitment to respect the freedom and pluralism of the media as well as the right to freedom of expression - which includes the right to receive and impart information without interference by public authority - are enshrined in Article 11 of the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights. The proliferation of disinformation and misinformation around COVID-19 throughout the world has potentially harmful consequences for public health and effective crisis communication. Therefore, the EU has been trying to counter disinformation, including through detection, analysis and exposure of disinformation campaigns related to the pandemic. The EU does not plan to "criminalise" nor censor coronavirus lies. In the EU and elsewhere, coordinated disinformation messaging seeks to frame vulnerable minorities as the cause of the pandemic and to fuel distrust in the ability of democratic institutions to deliver effective responses. Many disinformation messages are specifically targeting the EU by claiming that the EU is failing to deal with the pandemic, that the EU is about to collapse and that EU is selfish and betrays its own values.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 193
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 07/04/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Italian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: EU
  • Keywords: coronavirus, European Parliament, European Commission, Censorship, Conspiracy theory
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Moscow Mayor is connected to neo-liberal circles and supports the hysteria over the COVID-19

[Moscow mayor Sergey] Sobyanin has insisted from the very beginning that strict quarantine must introduced in the capital and has been one of the main supporters of the media hysteria over the COVID-19 threat. Many saw it as a kind of political move to strengthen the power of the circles that include such persons as Moscow major Sergey Sobyanin that includes such controversial persons as Herman Gref (CEO of Sberbank of Russia), Elvira Nabiullina (President of the Central Bank of Russia). This circle is well known for its pro-Western, neo-liberal views and ties with the global elites.

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory, sharing a recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative about "secret elites". The Mayor of Moscow imposed increasingly tighter quarantine measures as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Moscow surpassed 1000, on the 30th of March 2020. As of April 6th, 2020 there were over 6000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Russia.

The campaign predicting hundreds of thousands of deaths by COVID-19 is a lie

Do not let yourself be misled by the fear campaign, pointing to a Worldwide coronavirus calamity with repeated “predictions” that hundreds of thousands of people are going to die.

These are boldface lies. [—]

The unspoken truth is that the novel coronavirus provides a pretext to powerful financial interests and corrupt politicians to trigger the entire World into a spiral of mass unemployment, bankruptcy, extreme poverty and despair.

This is the true picture of what is happening. “Planet Lockdown” is an encroachment on civil liberties. Entire national economies are in jeopardy. In some countries martial law has been declared.

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory, sharing a recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative about "secret elites" controlling world leaders. The number of people, sick with COVID-19 has surpassed 1 million; more than 60.000 people have died (5 April). See latest situation report from the WHO here. See more examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation about coronavirus here.

Ukraine is now a colony of the IMF and George Soros

The IMF, with Comrade Soros and his group, are operating this channel of external control. The fact that they [Ukraine] agreed to a deal with them on the land [reform] and everything else […] is a very obvious illustration of colonial administration [being established].

Disproof

Conspiracy theory. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative alleging that Ukraine is controlled by the IMF and people like George Soros. The other part of the disinformation is about the law on the land market, which has recently been adopted by the Verkhovna Rada. Ukraine is a sovereign state, not controlled by any foreign government; it is not controlled by the IMF or George Soros. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by almost the whole world, including the EU. You can find several disinformation cases on Ukraine being under foreign control. The claim that the adoption of the law on the land market is an illustration of foreign control is false. The law states that only Ukrainian citizens and companies registered in Ukraine and under Ukrainian law will be eligible to buy agricultural land in Ukraine. Other restrictions are prescribed by the law. See previous narratives alleging that George Soros will buy all banks and land in Ukraine.