Russia, EU and China are considered to be manipulating public opinion in Romania by spreading fake news. This is the result of an opinion poll conducted by INSCOP Research from Romania.
Fake news is not a new subject to be debated in Romania, but the opinion poll, suggestively named “Public distrust: West vs. East, the rising of the nationalist trend in the era of manipulation and fake news“, tried to show the perception of the Romanians regarding the main actors on the global political scene.
The most interesting conclusions of the poll:
- 55% of the Romanians consider they were exposed to fake news during the last months
- 58.3% of the Romanians consider that foreign states strongly spread fake news in Romania
- 24% of the Romanians consider Russia spreads fake news, while 18.5% consider that EU is spreading fake news and conducts political propaganda on Romanian territory. Only 14.8% consider China spreads fake news
- 60.7% of the Romanians DO NOT trust TV stations in Romania when regarding to news
Is Russia the main culprit when it comes to spreading fake news in Romania? Maybe yes, maybe no, but it’s only the secret services who know the real truth here. Yet, in the current context it really doesn’t matter.
What it matters the most is that the European Union, “the West”, is seen by Romanians as the second fake news spreader after Russia. China, public enemy number 1, holds only the third position. Hungary, USA and even Germany were also named among the states who spread fake news in Romania.
East vs West? Sometimes opinion polls get opposite results than what the authorities would’ve expected and this is one of those cases. By naming EU among top manipulators who actively spread fake news in the country, Romanians succeeded in telling the European state actors that the perception of their actions are not always seen as friendly and selfless. People perceive some of the actions as intentional, following a particular interest.
An alarm bell sounded from Romania for the EU leaders to consider, especially now, during pandemic, when Romanians took to the streets to protest against the restrictions.