About the Campaign

Disinformation, propaganda, and “Fake News” have always existed. But why should we worry about that at all?

What makes it different today is its rapid dissemination and global reach. The spread of false information is being deliberately weaponised by the enemies of freedom. It’s being used to degrade public trust in democratic and state institutions, the media and to intensify social division, resentment and fear.

The campaign FreedomFightsFake empowers citizens around the globe to think critically and “pre-bunk” disinformation!

How can we detect which claims are (deliberately) false?
In what ways can we counter the global phenomenon of disinformation?
What is the state of media freedom around the world and how can we strengthen it?

Join us as we search for answers to these questions among others and let’s work together against disinformation!

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Stranger than Fiction

The boundaries between fictional storytelling and disinformation seem to have disappeared entirely during the coronavirus pandemic. Conspiracy theorists are using scenes from Hollywood blockbusters to try proving their theories. As such, they are driving panic and scepticism. Three examples

Screenwriters get inspiration from real-life events. And "lie"-producers get inspiration from screenwriters. This interaction is becoming increasingly obvious, particularly in times of crisis. These two examples prove how products which are intended for entertainment can be turned into dangerous lies which even appear on news portals.

1. “Contagion” (2011)

Steven Soderbergh’s catastrophe drama about a deadly pandemic started by an infected bat is currently one of the most popular films being streamed on Amazon Prime and iTunes. No wonder. In its disturbing scenes, Contagionillustrates the devastating consequences of the disease. Emptied streets. Mass graves. It turns out that it’s been made to look so realistic that the images have been shared as news again and again in China and India since February 2020.

2. “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” (1997/1971)

Adrenochrome. The stuff dreams are made of. At least the dreams of the American presenter Alex Jones and the German singer Xavier Naidoo. As passionate advocates of the myth that a secret political “elite” would sacrifice children in satanic rituals to get the substance, they are getting more and more attention, not only from extreme circles. Recent reports on Bulgarian national TV played up an incident with this hormone which is produced naturally in the body: the news was shortened significantly and distorted on the messenger service Signal as proof of the alleged “world conspiracy”. Seems far-fetched.

The fact that adrenochrome is freely available and that its alleged psychoactive effect is solely based on the film “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” was deliberately ignored by the outraged followers of disinformation. In his drug comedy novel, the author, Hunter S. Thompson, conjured up a psychoactive effect for the hormone and compared it with LSD or mescaline. He openly admits this in the audio commentary that goes with the film. Is there any medically verified proof? No.
Nevertheless, we can be sure of one thing: adrenochrome gives wings to fantasies. (Original Scene/Fact Check)