Anti-fake news campaign to accompany Netherlands next election

Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs votes in the Amsterdam municipal election at Amsterdam Centraal, 21 March 2018
Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs votes in the Amsterdam municipal election at Amsterdam Centraal, 21 March 2018. (Photo: Ministry of Home Affairs / @MinBZK / Twitter)

The Dutch government is planning to launch a campaign against fake news in the run-up to the elections for the Provincial State and European Parliament. In a letter to parliament, Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations said that the government wants to make citizens more aware of misinformation around the elections, NOS report.

The Minister plans to present a concrete proposal before the end of the year. The campaign will not focus on content or political views, but on explaining to citizens why they get certain types of reports and not others, she said. Ollongren acknowledged that this is a "tight rope" to walk.

The CDA and D66 called for such an "awareness campaign" to be launched before the elections. "We can not let our elections be hijacked", D66 parliamentarian Kees Verhoeven said, according to the broadcaster. Coalition partner VVD can agree to such a campaign, but thinks that first more research must be done on the influence social media can have on democratic processes like elections. 

The Provincial State elections will be held in March next year, the European Parliament elections in May. 

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