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A Policy Perspective on Regulating Disinformation in Romania during the Covid-19 Pandemic


Romania is one of the countries that adopted temporary sanctions against disinformation during the state of emergency, which lasted between March 16 and May 14, 2020. The scope of this paper is to analyze the decisions adopted by the National Authority for Administration and Regulation of Communications, which was the institution responsible for regulating the spread of fake news on the internet. We analyzed the motivation to block access to false information and the type of news classified as disinformation. In addition, we analyzed decisions adopted by the National Council of Audio‐visual starting with the end of February 2020, both in terms of recommendations and the sanctions imposed on audio‐visual channels of communication, as well as the decisions to sanction noncompliance with the correct information of the audience. The findings show a limited effect in containing disinformation. Access to a limited number of websites was blocked and after the state of emergency was lifted, access was granted again. Removing access to a website did not stop the authors from continuing their activity by opening a new website. The lack of a definition of false information allowed discretion power in blocking access to news containing information that later proved to be correct. The activity of audio‐visual channels was regulated instead through soft legislation, such as recommendations and instructions, as well as through sanctions. Overall the analysis shows temporary and limited effects of the legislation sanctioning disinformation in Romania.

Calendario de la edición:
2 veces al año
Temas de la revista:
Social Sciences, Political Science, Local Government and Administration