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US, Italy coordinate efforts to counter spread of misinformation

  • The United States and Italy have agreed to coordinate efforts to combat misinformation and fake news from foreign governments.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani reached the agreement during talks on the island of Capri.
  • Belgium recently announced an investigation into alleged Russian efforts to influence the upcoming European Parliament elections.

The United States and Italy agreed Wednesday to coordinate efforts to counter the spread of misinformation and fake news articles by foreign governments.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani agreed to the new agreement during a three-day meeting of the Group of Seven (G7) foreign ministers on the island of Capri.

Last year, the United States released an intelligence assessment sent to more than 100 countries, accusing Moscow of using spies, social media and Russian state media to undermine public confidence in the integrity of democratic elections.

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Belgian prosecutors announced last week that they were investigating allegations that Russia tried to influence the upcoming European Parliament elections.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken looks on as Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani speaks to members of the media at the State Department’s Treaty Room in Washington, June 12, 2023. The United States and Italy agreed on Wednesday to coordinate countermeasures. Spreading misinformation and fake news articles by foreign governments. (via Mandel Gunn/Pool, Reuters/File Photo)

Russia has repeatedly denied interfering in foreign elections and last month said it would not interfere in the U.S. vote in November 2024.

The eight-page document outlining the Italy-U.S. agreement states that the two countries will establish and implement “strategies and practices to counter foreign information manipulation” and that the two countries will “improve media financing and ownership,” including the government’s role. It is written that it promotes “transparency”.

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The memorandum also included promises to assist other countries against foreign attempts to interfere in elections. He did not specifically mention the countries behind such efforts.

The two countries also pledged to invest in artificial intelligence (AI) tools to combat the spread of fake news and to create a shared database on detected manipulative activity.

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