The spread of false information is a recurring problem, especially in the age of social media. Bavaria’s interior minister has a plan that should help nationwide.

Bavaria’s Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU) has proposed an action plan against disinformation at the forthcoming conference of interior ministers from the federal and state governments in Würzburg from June 1 to 3. “Misleading and incorrect information endangers our democracy,” Herrmann told the German Press Agency. “We need increased measures against misleading and demonstrably false information.”

Herrmann wants to put the topic on the agenda in Würzburg. He proposes a joint action plan by the federal and state governments against disinformation and for a well-fortified democracy. Herrmann is the chairman of the conference of interior ministers this year. “The deliberate and targeted spread of lies with the intention of dividing and spreading hatred is not an expression of opinion worthy of protection,” said Herrmann.

“Raise awareness of the spread of disinformation”

“The action plan should include the establishment of a network in the federal, state and local authorities as well as civil society, which coordinates targeted public relations measures against disinformation campaigns,” explained Herrmann. “The aim is to raise awareness and focus on the targeted dissemination of disinformation.” The action plan is to be drawn up in a federal-state working group chaired by the Federal Ministry of the Interior.

Herrmann also called for a discussion as to whether the targeted dissemination of disinformation should be punished under certain conditions: “That also applies to comparable offenses such as hate speech or the approval of a war of aggression.”