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TASS suggests adopting world media charter to fight fake news

TASS' First Deputy Director General stressed that misinformation has been "weaponized" to achieve political or economic goals
TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman (left) Andrey Kirillov/TASS
TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman (left)
© Andrey Kirillov/TASS

SHANGHAI, November 18. /TASS/. Russia's leading news agency TASS put forward an initiative on Monday to ratify a global media charter to combat fake news.

"Fake news is a threat to global stability," TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman told the World Media Summit (WMS) presidium that opened in Shanghai on Monday. "I would say false reports in the media sphere create a major and appalling danger to peace," he emphasized.

"False information, or more precisely, misinformation and the manipulation of information have become weaponized, and actively utilized by various forces in order to achieve different political and economic goals," Gusman specified.

According to Gusman, the topic of countering the rising tide of fake news is being discussed at various platforms. Representatives from Reuters, Agence France-Presse (AFP), Kyodo and other news agencies spoke at the meeting about the threats that stem from fake news.

TASS' First Deputy Director General suggested that at the next World Media Summit, scheduled for 2020 in China, the parties should formulate a special global media charter to combat misinformation and fake news. The draft charter can be drawn up by TASS jointly with other members of the World Media Summit (WMS) presidium, he said.

At the meeting, the sides discussed the challenges and prospects that media outlets face given the proliferation of new media technologies. The event, which is held at the initiative of China’s state-run Xinhua news agency, is attended by the world’s major news agencies — TASS, Associated Press, Reuters, the BBC, Agence France-Presse (AFP), ANSA, Kyodo and others.

Xinhua Director General Cai Mingzhao noted that it had been three years since the last World Media Summit in the Qatari capital of Doha and it was time to pick a venue for holding the next forum, given the crucial shifts facing the world's media industry. According to Cai Mingzhao, there is a growing number of participants in the media sphere who are not related to the industry, and the boundaries are being wiped away among various media, while the number of social networks users in China alone has hit 849 mln.