As the “information war” heats up between east and west, Russia’s Foreign Ministry wades in the battle by planning a fact-checking service of its own to debunk “fake news.”
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova says that a fact-checking service will soon be launched that will collect and debunk any factually inaccurate international news stories that are put out by the “dishonest” western media. Her comments mirroring those of President Trump’s sentiments on “dishonest” U.S. media.
Business Insider reports:
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Russia was reportedly responsible for an escalation of fake news since 2014, and has long used “kompromat” – controversial and typically false material offering salacious blackmail against domestic and international politicians – to bury any of the Kremlin’s adversaries. But the ministry’s spokesperson Maria Zakhararova failed to acknowledge the spread of fake news from Russian entities and other foreign outlets during the U.S. 2016 presidential election when speaking with reporters at a press briefing Tuesday morning.
“The states of the so-called historical #West, especially #Europe” are losing their ability to “impose their will on the rest of the world” pic.twitter.com/EXmbEkgCmx
— ГК РФ 🇷🇺 в Женеве (@RusConsulGen) 15 February 2017
Instead, the Russian official claimed there was an ongoing U.S.-led campaign against Kremlin-sponsored media sites like Sputnik and RT. The Kremlin’s new fact-checking service was expected to expose alleged fake stories published by Western outlets, possibly seeking to undermine Russia’s involvement in world affairs and beyond.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government was reportedly attempting to meddle in Germany’s upcoming national election. It was also recently accused of spreading propaganda internationally by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
“NATO has been dealing with a significant increase in Russian propaganda and disinformation since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014,” the alliance’s spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said in a statement Saturday.
The news arrived as reports indicated President Donald Trump’s campaign officials had repeated communications with Russian officials throughout the presidential election, in which Russian fake news typically targeted his opponent, former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Trump also claimed major Western press outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post were responsible for fake news on Twitter Tuesday morning.
The fake news media is going crazy with their conspiracy theories and blind hatred. @MSNBC & @CNN are unwatchable. @foxandfriends is great!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 15 February 2017
“The fake news media is going crazy with their conspiracy theories and blind hatred,” Trump wrote. “This Russian connection non-sense is merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton’s losing campaign.”
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