Russia spreads fakes about COVID-19 in Dutch social media

Russia is disseminating disinformation about the coronavirus in the Netherlands, wrote Minister of Home Affairs Kasja Ollongren in a letter to parliament. According to her, intelligence service AIVD found “Russian narratives” about the virus in a number of Dutch-language social media groups, reports the newspaper NLTimes.

The minister informed that these narratives are about “alleged European divisions and lack of mutual solidarity between countries in Western Europe in the field of Covid-19” and that their reach was limited outside the social media groups where these messages were published.

Intelligence service AIVD found “Russian narratives” about the virus in a number of Dutch-language social media groups

Mrs. Ollongren said that it is not possible to prevent this type of disinformation because of freedom of speech unless it takes the form of illegal content: child pornography, hate speech, promotion of terrorism. The minister called on social media platforms and political parties to increase the fight against disinformation.

According to her, there is an abundance of information around the coronavirus, and it is difficult for people to find reliable sources. Thus, Kasja Ollongren pointed out that the government can play a regulatory role to make sure people understand where the content is coming from and who paid for it as an advertisement.

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