UK to contribute over $22Mln to fight disinformation, fake news in Eastern Europe

MOSCOW, July 7: The United Kingdom will allocate a total of 18 million pounds (around $22.5 million) for countering the dissemination of fake news and disinformation in Eastern European countries and support independent media in the Western Balkans, the UK Foreign Office said on Sunday.
The announcement was made ahead of the Global Conference for Media Freedom, which is set to take place in London from July 10-11.
“The Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, will today (7 July) announce a package of ?18m over three years to counter disinformation and fake news across Eastern Europe and strengthen independent media in the Western Balkans,” the Foreign Office said in a press release published on the official website of the UK government.
The funding will be provided by the UK government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund, the press release added.
“With only 10 per cent of the world’s population having access to a free media, fake news and disinformation continue to undermine and destabilise societies,” Hunt said, as quoted by the press release.
The foreign secretary noted that the funding would come as support for media workers operating in “repressive” societies.
“My aim for this conference is to work with my counterparts to agree a way to protect media freedom and impose a cost on those who abuse it,” Hunt added.
According to the press release, the money is part of a 100 million pound pledge to help independent media and fight disinformation in Central Asian and Eastern European countries.