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Friday, June 14, 2024

European Parliament elections 2024. Russian propaganda spreads absurd lies before the vote

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The closer the elections to the European Parliament are, the more lies Russia directs towards Western societies. Often completely absurd, that some unspecified EU institutions prohibit people from repairing old cars or limit how many times they can fly by plane a year. As Radosław Sikorski points out, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people were fooled by anti-vaccine nonsense.

The European Parliament elections are the world's second largest democratic elections, after the Indian Parliament elections. They will take place in Poland on June 9. The Russian propaganda machine is working at full speed in Europe. – The upcoming elections and the following weeks and months will be decisive for the next few years, if not decades, when it comes to the security of our country, too – emphasized Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

– These elections to the European Parliament, like no other before, are subject to attacks by enemies of the European Union – said the head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration and coordinator of secret services, Tomasz Siemoniak.

A wave of disinformation is flooding the continent. You may come across false claims online that Brussels wants to ban drivers from repairing old cars or that it plans to introduce restrictions on the annual number of flights for citizens. It's all fake news, i.e. prepared and spread lies that are supposed to pretend to be the truth. Their goal is simple – to discourage people from joining the European Union.

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– Just as Russian troll farms increased these anti-vaccine accounts and, unfortunately, many people fell for this nonsense, they also increase and help anti-European extremes – said Minister of Foreign Affairs Radosław Sikorski.

EU politicians remind us. – The European elections are approaching. We must remain vigilant against foreign interference by malicious actors, especially Russia, and fight to protect our democracies, we read in a post on X by Josep Borrell, Vice-President of the European Commission and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security.

READ ALSO: Russia forcibly sends those who refuse to fight to the front. “They are beaten and sent away by force”

Russia forcibly sends those who refuse to fight to the front. “They are beaten and sent away by force”Justyna Zuber/Fakty o Świecie TVN24 BiS

Examples of disinformation in different countries

Moscow is particularly keen on causing harm. This has been happening for a long time. On different ways.

– Examples of disinformation that we have seen in individual countries include false voting instructions in Greece or the Netherlands, and stories about disappearing ink in pens spread in Slovenia, Spain, Finland and Estonia. Claims that there is a physical threat in premises in Bulgaria, Spain and Poland – were mentioned by Delphine Colard, deputy spokesperson of the European Parliament.

SEE ALSO: They knelt before the ministry in Moscow and demanded their husbands' return

Disinformation also involves impersonating reliable sources. Last week, the website of the Polish Press Agency published false information about the partial mobilization and sending of Polish soldiers to Ukraine, which was announced by Donald Tusk. The Polish Press Agency had to publish a statement that it was not responsible for the content of the message published on its own website.

– It's not that bad yet. This means that they failed to block the work of the Polish Press Agency. They failed to prevent, for example, the immediate sending of a message that the previous one was false. It would be a drama – commented Piotr Niemczyk, security expert, former director of the Office of Analysis and Information at the Office of State Protection.

Fake recording of a politician in the elections in Slovakia

Another problem is the so-called deepfakes, i.e. videos prepared using artificial intelligence. The images obtained in this way, although they have never been reality, imitate it perfectly and are misleading.

– The audio-only versions are the most disturbing. That's because they are exceptionally easy to produce, disturbingly easy. There is no single solution, no button that will make this problem disappear, points out Ciaran Liam Martin, former head of the British Cybersecurity Center.

Just before last year's parliamentary elections, Slovaks came across a fake audio recording on social media in which a pro-Western and liberal politician allegedly encourages election fraud. Robert Fico, who had anti-EU views, won. Only after the elections did Facebook expand its policy of fighting disinformation to include the possibility of reporting prepared audio.

Facts about the World TVN24 BiS

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