The Baltic Region

2020 Vol. 12 №1

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Disinformation (fake news, propaganda) as a threat to resilience: approaches used in the EU and its member state Lithuania



This study analyses EU and Lithuanian documents on countering disinformation/fake news to present the plurality of the Union’s approaches to ensuring resilience. Currently, there are three approaches to the problem in the EU. The first one, used by the European Commission, is the recognition of citizens’ right to information as well as of the need to promote critical thinking and information literacy. This approach fits into the adaptive paradigm of action in the information space and the concept of autopoietic resilience. The second approach, taken by the European External Action Service, is to expose fake news and the media spreading it. In combining adaptive and paternalistic paradigms of action in the information space, this approach employs a more static interpretation of resilience. Lithuania has adopted a third approach, which is dominated by the paternalistic paradigm and homeostatic resilience. This approach consists of the state isolating citizens from certain information. Thus, the popular use of the term ‘resilience’ in the EU disguises the plurality of approaches to both disinformation and resilience itself. Theoretically, this study draws on the concept of resilience and paradigms for countering disinformation/fake news. Methodologically, it relies on critical discourse analysis. The article suggests several possible causes of intra-EU differences in countering disinformation/fake news/propaganda and interpreting resilience