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Russian Foreign Ministry to Set Up ‘Fake News’ Watchdog

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The Russian Foreign Ministry is going to set up a new section on its website in order to counter and “expose” foreign media’s publications.

Russian Foreign Ministry to Set Up ‘Fake News’ Watchdog

Spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova (Photo: Sputnik / Grigory Sysoev)

The Russian Foreign Ministry has announced plans to set up a new section on its website, designed to counter and “expose” foreign media’s publications, in order to combat “fake news” about the Russian government, which are spread by foreign media.

Earlier this week, during a briefing, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, spoke on the topic of “fake news” and slammed western media for stories about “Russian hackers” that, according to her, were false.

“Quite soon, we will launch our own project on the official Foreign Ministry website where we will collect “fake news” from leading foreign media outlets and the statements of official representatives of various countries,” Zakharova said. “We will expose them, publish original sources and data, and we will prove that the Russian side has already responded to the specific issues in question.  We will work on this.”

She also mentioned claims of French independent presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, who had stated that his movement En Marche became the last victim of cyberattacks of Russian hackers.

“One gets the impression that Mr. Macron is trying to one-up Hillary Clinton. This is a dubious path,” Zakharova said, accusing leader of En Marche, Richard Ferrand, of spreading “fake news.”

Speaking about accusations of main Macron’s opponents, leader of Front National Marine Le Pen and former favorite Francois Fillon, of being too pro-Russian, Zakharova said: “Why do a strong Europe and a friendly position towards Russia seem mutually exclusive? When did Russia perceive a strong Europe as an enemy?”

The spokeswoman also noted that many media outlets report the same thing and made the same mistakes, and this seems unusual.

“We see the same mistakes repeated. They not only repeat allegations of hackers and “fake news,” but copy the exact mistakes in different countries. One gets the impression that these instructions originated in the same place, and that they are being distributed all over,” she said.

Meanwhile, Germany also announced that the country’s Interior Ministry is going to set up a new division in order to combat “fake news.” The government announced the creation of the “defense centre against disinformation” in December of the last year to combat misinformation in anticipation of the upcoming federal election that is planned to be held in September.

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