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Parliamentary questions
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2 June 2020
Question for written answer E-003318/2020/rev.1
to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Rule 138
Patrick Breyer (Verts/ALE)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Definition of disinformation used by EUvsDisinfo

The EUvsDisinfo database is focused on ‘messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages’. The Commission, however, understands disinformation to mean only verifiably false or misleading information that is created, presented and disseminated for economic gain or to intentionally deceive the public, and may cause public harm. Disinformation does not include reporting errors, satire and parody, or clearly identified partisan news and commentary (COM(2018)0236).

1. Why does the European External Action Service (EEAS) not apply the latter definition when labeling publications as ‘disinformation’ on its EUvsDisinfo website?

2. Information on the website suggests that the EEAS considers some value judgements (e.g. claiming that the EU is dead or predicting its demise) to be disinformation. Does the Commission agree with that stance?

3. The website also suggests that the EEAS considers speculation not supported by evidence, but which may still be true (e.g. that the Coronavirus might have been brought to Wuhan from outside China or produced in a laboratory), to be disinformation. Does the Commission take the same view?

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