US midterm elections: Does Finland have the answer to fake news?


As the midterm elections approach in the US, the wave of false claims surrounding the vote is a reminder of how hard it is to combat fake news. Does Finland have the answer?

A few hours after Vladimir Putin called up 300,000 military reservists in September, a video showing long queues of cars at the Finnish-Russian border started circulating on social media.

The Finnish Border Guard was quick to point out it was fake.

“Some of the videos were filmed earlier and now taken out of context,” it said on Twitter. The tweet promptly made it to the top of the Ukraine live page on national broadcaster Yle’s news website.

The Border Guard’s and Yle’s response highlights a crucial element of Finland’s success against disinformation – public trust in the authorities and the media.

Finland is a high-trust society. According to an OECD report, 71% of the Finnish population trust the government, compared to the OECD average of 41%.

And it’s not just the government – parliament, the civil service, the police and the media all enjoy high levels of trust.

In an annual study by the Open Society Institute, the country tops a global chart measuring resilience to disinformation.

Full text of publication US midterm elections: Does Finland have the answer to fake news?