“Fake news!” The phrase has been thrown about so much lately that it lost most of its meaning and gravitas. But what does it actually mean? One definition explains it as “deliberately presenting false information as news”1 and differentiates it as a subset of disinformation, which includes the spread of false information as a whole.
Now, more than ever, disinformation poses a threat to society, democracy, media freedom, and – during the COVID-19 pandemic – even to healthcare. Its meaning and definition must not be diluted, but conserved and, thus, require due attention as a credible threat. This was exactly our aim while working on the 4Liberty.eu Review no. 13.
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In the presented issue, experts throughout Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) analyze the spread of disinformation in an attempt to answer such questions as: Who spreads false information and to what purpose? What forms can disinformation take? What can governments and liberals do to combat it?
To this purpose, the published articles provide excellent analyses on how disinformation plays out in the current political context. The authors go beyond pure theory and suggested pragmatic approaches while advocating for liberal values.