Meeting with Geysha González

10/18/2018

"Disguising reality as a lie: misinformation, incorrect information and fake news"

The Fundación organized on October 18 at the Hotel Wellington in Madrid a meeting with the Deputy Director of the Eurasia Center, Geysha González, member of the prestigious American think tank, Atlantic Council.

Invited by the US Embassy in Spain, Ms. González was in Madrid at that time to tackle/address and discuss in several forums and institutions a highly topical subject as fake or false news, the incidence of this phenomenon in communication, in current of opinion/ strands of opinion or in the electoral processes, as well as the tools available to counteract the misinformation they generate. On the basis of the proposals presented by the speaker, many questions raised during the event contributing to create a lively debate among all the participants.

During her presentation, that was held in Spanish, the researcher emphasized the importance of distinguishing between the terms disinformation (or misinformation), fake news and propaganda. In the first case, the objective focuses on erasing the line between what is true and what is false. Ms. Gonzalez argued that the hurry that currently exists around journalism, which is becoming more and more prevalent in the form of "breaking news", does not allow counteracting the information conveniently. In this case, as the speaker underlined, there is no intention to lie. However, the fake news term has an important distinguishing element/distinctive feature; the intentionality of lying.

In this way, the researcher stressed that when a media is accused that it is transmitting “fake news”, a deliberate will to lie is being attributed. Ultimately, the term "propaganda" was addressed, referring to all that material created especially to make others believe something in particular. Finally, Ms. Gonzalez analyzed the impact that deliberately adulterated use of information is having on the current political and economic landscape.