Media policy in the war

In Russia, anyone who reports independently on the war in Ukraine faces prison. In several Western countries, channels that broadcast Kremlin propaganda have been banned. At the same time, misinformation is on the rise, spread via websites and social networks. Europe's press comments on the war over public opinion.

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Tygodnik Powszechny (PL) /

Deepfakes are the new weapons

Tygodnik Powszechny discusses the so-called deepfake videos circulating on the internet, many of which put fake but deceptively real-sounding words into people's mouths:

“In the case of both the fake Zelensky and the fake Putin, experts stress that the voices were of low quality and did not resemble the originals enough to convince an attentive viewer. But someone watching such footage on a small smartphone screen in a war zone might be misled. ... Several research institutions are working on tools that can automatically detect deepfakes. So far, the only possibility to protect ourselves against such videos is the attention of viewers themselves.”

Diena (LV) /

Latvians must protect themselves from lies

The National Electronic Mass Media Council of Latvia (NEPLP) has blocked access to 71 websites whose content is interpreted as a threat to national security. Diena doubts the effectiveness of the measure:

“The decision is another pseudo-activity in a situation where we get many poisoned messages via popular Telegram channels and other instruments of disinformation. And in them the narratives in favour of the Kremlin are waiting, short, concise and vividly illustrated. These are not the kind of long, boring, and for many incomprehensible messages to be found on, one of the blocked sites. ... Must we really close these websites? ... Well it probably won't do any harm.”

T24 (TR) /

The extreme is becoming the norm

As the Ukraine war continues, certain norms are shifting in the media, T24 observes:

“On the one hand, an economic war against Russia, which was considered 'unacceptable' a few years ago, is gradually becoming 'acceptable' or 'unavoidable' in the eyes of Western societies. On the other hand, the political discourse on neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine is shifting. ... The New York Times, for example, which in 2015 still referred to the group [the Asov Movement] as 'clearly neo-Nazi', is one of the media outlets changing its tone these days. ... The paper's Moscow bureau chief, Anton Troianovski, last week described them as 'fringe nationalist groups' or a 'far-right military unit'. And Facebook made an exception to its 'anti-extremism policy' for the Azov Batallion.”