The legal study commissioned by the State Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia (LfM) identifies risks for individuals and society that can arise through various forms of disinformation and discusses ways to counter them legally.
Expert opinion (PDF, in English)
Summary of the expert opinion (PDF, in English)
For some years now, public and (media) policy discourses have increasingly revolved around manifestations and possible consequences of the dissemination of untrue, half-true or unsubstantiated information. This preoccupation with disinformation has become particularly virulent due to the online possibilities of professional production, rapid dissemination with the help of human and automated networks of actors as well as the observable high degree of interaction of recipients with this information. Due to the large-scale, partly viral dissemination patterns of corresponding depictions and messages, it became clear that not only the content of such a message, but especially the combination with the amplified reach shows risk potentials for the individual as well as the society as a whole.
The Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut is conducting a legal study on behalf of the State Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia. Against the background of different types of disinformation (cf. Möller/Hameleers/Ferreau 2020), it will identify risk potentials for both individuals and society and, based on this, map the different forms of disinformation to specific legal protection objectives affected.
Looking at the existing legal framework that safeguards these objectives, the report identifies existing legal gaps. Furthermore, it develops differentiated governance measures to close them and describes their efficacy requirements.
Photo by Hennie Stander