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Kremlin-funded channel launches site to tackle ‘fake’ news

March 15, 2017

Kremlin-funded channel RT, often accused by western critics of promoting Moscow’s agenda, on Wednesday launched its own initiative to expose “fake” news.

RT said its new online platform is aimed at combatting “misinformation” amid a wave of international concern over the perceived growing spread of false reports.

While the channel says it is out to “separate fact from fake” it stands accused by Western officials of a propaganda campaign to cover up the Kremlin’s misdemeanours in Ukraine and Syria and undermine democracy abroad.

Moscow has struck back furiously at the allegations it is responsible for a deluge of fake news and the foreign ministry has also launched its own initiative to unmask what it says is false reporting on Russia.

Among its first targets RT’s “FakeCheck” website listed broadcasts from activists inside rebel-held Aleppo in Syria as it was besieged by Russian-backed regime forces and an Oscar-winning documentary on the White Helmet volunteer rescuers.

It also included a December report published in the Washington Post that said Russian hackers had penetrated a utility system in Vermont. The newspaper later corrected its report.

RT, formerly known abroad as Russia Today, was launched in 2005 to present Moscow’s perspective abroad and sticks to the Kremlin line on events around the world.

It has previously been rebuked by British broadcasting watchdog Ofcom for allegedly misleading reporting on Ukraine and Syria.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.