Internet favours and promotes extreme news stories the validity of which cannot be verified, Greek MEP says

Internet favours and promotes extreme news stories, while the validity of the news cannot be verified, neither can those spreading fake news be penalised, Greek MEP and journalist Stelios Kouloglou told a Conference on Fake news: A phenomenon of manipulation in the modern world organised in Nicosia by the European Parliament Information Office in Cyprus, the Cyprus News Agency, the Union of Cyprus Journalists, the Cyprus Radiotelevision Authority and the Cyprus Media Complaints Commission.

Kouloglou said that media sources are gradually gaining a place on the Internet, which gains a lot of power if we also take into account the search engines, the social media and the TV stations websites. Furthermore, he noted that politicians but also people who want to make money out of this focus their attention in this field.

He said that through the social media anyone can play the role of a journalist and spread news. Kouloglou also said that fake news can even contribute to the beginning of a war and elaborated on the history of the fake news phenomenon.

On her part European Parliament Information Office in Cyprus spokesperson Alexandra Attalides said that fake news spreading takes place due to the collapse of traditional institutions and the fact that the power of traditional mass media has significantly decreased.

Referring to Brexit and Donald Trumps election at the US Presidency, Attalides said that it seems that real facts have been overtaken by feelings and that some critical elements and positions have been ignored.

She also noted that the EU set up a working group in 2015 in the framework of which volunteers collect fake stories and respond to them by issuing press releases.

Source: Cyprus News Agency