Sweden is taking a new approach to fight “misinformation.” The government launched the “Psychological Defence Agency” which they say will fight misinformation, propaganda, and psychological warfare.
The mission of the new agency will be identifying misinformation and “educating” the community to be resilient against harmful misinformation campaigns. The agency is headed by Henrik Landerholm, a diplomat, The Record reported.
Landerhom was interviewed by a Swedish radio station after the announcement of the agency, where he said nations like China, Iran, and Russia are sources of misinformation campaigns in Sweden. He singled out Russia for its attempt to interfere in US elections.
Swedish leaders have previously warned about the ever-growing “threat” of misinformation. In the nation’s recent elections, Russia was accused of attempting to interfere, which led to a coordinated effort to fight misinformation campaigns.
The efforts included training thousands of public officials on how to respond to false information and working with social media companies and journalists to curb its spread. These efforts inspired the creation of the new agency.
During the interview, Landerholm insisted that work of the new agency is not a form of government propaganda.
“This is not the Ministry of Truth or a State Information Board like we had during the Cold War,” Landerholm said. “We want to protect freedom of opinion in our country.”