Ahead of the general election in Sweden on September 11, the country’s government has formed an agency dedicated to dealing with the spread of misinformation. The Psychological Defense Agency was created on January 1 to combat the disinformation that could undermine the upcoming election.
Government agencies to combat misinformation:
The authority would offer support to Swedish municipalities, regions, companies and organizations and contribute to improving the resilience of the Swedish population. The Swedish Psychological Defense Agency aims to identify, analyze and prevent the impact of disinformation in Sweden.
The Swedish Psychological Defense Agency has listed its mission and purpose website. The assignment is stated as, “Coordination and development of authorities ‘and other actors’ activities within Sweden’s psychological defense.” The authority says that its purpose is “to protect our open and democratic society, the free formation of opinion and Sweden’s freedom and independence.”
Director General Henrik Landerholm, Sweden’s former ambassador to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, heads the Swedish government agency. The agency’s head office is located in Karlstad, Sweden, with another branch in Solna municipality, Sweden. According to this Forbes the article, the agency plans to combat misleading information directed at Swedish interests, both national and international. The agency would combat misinformation aimed at weakening the country’s resilience and unnecessarily influencing people’s perceptions, behaviors and decision – making.
Sweden’s initiative follows the French government’s plans in June 2021 to create an agency to combat foreign disinformation and fake news, according to this Bloomberg reports. The plans were announced ahead of the French presidential election in April 2022.
Organizations dealing with the widespread disinformation in India:
A study entitled “Prevalence and source analysis of covid-19 disinformation in 138 countries” published in IFLA Journal in May 2021 indicated that India had produced the highest disinformation on social media about Covid-19 at 18.07%.
The study suggested that the cause of India’s disinformation epidemic on social media is the increasing penetration rate of social media from recent years, which may increase in the coming years. The increased consumption of content in social media during the pandemic and the lack of digital skills of social media users has also led to an increased spread of disinformation, according to the study.
However, the Indian government is rolling out several initiatives to combat disinformation. The press information agency has launched PIB fact checking initiatives to address the common misinformation about government policies on social media. Their Twitter regularly handles tweets about websites with misleading or fraudulent job offers and policies.
▶ ️ Do not respond to emails / text messages asking to share your personal or banking information.
– PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) January 6, 2022
In addition to government initiatives, global organizations such as International fact-checking network and First Draft News try to crack down on incorrect information. The Logical Indian runs its own Fact Check program, which has addressed the rapid spread of disinformation in Covid-19 and beyond.
Also read: Muslim chef spiced Biryani for Hindus with impotence pills? Unrelated images Viral with false claims