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Event about Fake News
1st November 2018

The situation with fake news, as formulated in the EU, has been described by the MEP Maria Spyraki, as difficult and that the European institutions are not sufficiently effective in dealing with it. She underlined that the European Commission is making a great effort, "which we must incorporate into our everyday life.” A Code of Good Practice for dealing with misinformation is being implemented immediately and applied in all Member States, she explained. By July, on line platforms will need to develop a common Code of Good Practice and present it; and anyone who violates it will have sanctions. The Code ensures transparency as to who finances platforms on the internet. The owner or financier will be required to write their name and details on the online platform and explain where the resources come from and what they want to do. The Code introduces a procedure for detecting false accounts and fake moves. It also creates a double check; it establishes an independent network of event verification bodies so that there is a cross-check of events twice before a news item is uploaded to an online platform.

Nikolaos Panagiotou, Assistant Professor at the Department of Journalism and Mass Media, pointed out fake news is a threat because it leads to a loss of confidence in the institutions of democracy (justice, the media), strengthens polarization, and eliminates the center and balance necessary for the survival of every society, and constitutes a risk for preventative censorship.

The fake news phenomenon is not politically innocuous, and the Euro-elections may be subject to malicious attacks with political feasibility, as was the case in other electoral processes, stressed Konstantinos Tsoutsoplidis, spokesman for the European Parliament in Greece. "Efforts are being made to tackle the phenomenon without solving all the issues that make disinformation more competitive than truth," he said, noting that in response, “the political body must develop antibodies to media literacy, networking and the development of resistance tools to such phenomena.”

The role of libraries in dealing with fake news was reported by the head of the Library "Dimitris & Aliki Perroti", Damiana Koutsomicha. The event was coordinated by the Europe Direct responsible for the School, Katerina Roumelioti and took place in the amphitheater of the Aliki Perroti Educational Center.

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