The European Union’s head of combating foreign interference in communications says allegations that Beijing is meddling in Canada’s elections can be an opportunity to improve the public’s understanding of disinformation.
Lutz Guellner, who leads the EU foreign ministry’s work on strategic communications, was visiting Ottawa last week as part of collaboration on a G7 working group that tries to counter threats to democracy.
Guellner says the Europeans are trying to educate people on how to spot misinformation, as well as regulating social-media platforms and working with allies.
Who’s most vulnerable to disinformation?
He says Canada is a key player in researching disinformation from countries that are trying to interfere in democracies, but Canadians could be better informed on how to spot fake news.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a year ago, he says there is a trend of making fake news articles that look real, with a goal of eroding people’s trust in the mainstream media.
He also says Russian embassies are using social media to spread disinformation to new audiences.