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US-Funded Service Tracking Sputnik, RT Attempt to ‘Monopolize Truth’ - Lawmaker

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The Hamilton 68 online dashboard, launched by a US-funded think tank to track alleged Russia-supported "propaganda" Twitter posts by the Sputnik and RT, is an attempt to monopolize the truth and deprive people of the opportunity to get the whole picture on events, a member of France's The Republicans party (LR) told Sputnik on Thursday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) launched Hamilton 68 to focus on RT and Sputnik, as well as hundreds of other Twitter accounts it considers to be promoting Moscow's point of view, amid increased attacks on Russian media.

"We live in the era of information wars. Personally, I believe that it is very important for the ordinary citizens to have different, sometimes contradicting views on various subjects. The truth never belongs to one side. Those attacks on the Russian outlets show that they want to have a monopoly on truth," Jacques Myard, a LR lawmaker and the mayor of the French commune of Maisons-Laffitte, said.

According to the politician, information users can benefit from different points of views, but they should be ready to work with different sources of information before forming an opinion and to separate truth from propaganda.

"As a Frenchman, I am glad that there are different views on different subjects because you can have then an overview. This is something we have to assess; this is something we have to recon with," he added.

As one of objectives of the Hamilton 68 is to keep tabs on Russia’s alleged efforts to shape US public opinion in wake of the 2016 presidential election, which Moscow supposedly tried to tilt in Donald Trump’s favor, the French politician expressed his belief that media bias is a problem within the United States itself.

"We all know that in many subjects, the American media broadcasters themselves are manipulated or take a position that is partial. Russians sometimes do the same thing," Myard pointed out.

Earlier on Thursday, Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of Sputnik and RT, said, commenting on the news of the Hamilton 68 launch that "The Alliance for Securing Democracy carefully preserves democracy, thoughtfully protecting the Americans from the influence of RT and Sputnik."

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US-Funded GMF Center Launches Online Service to Track Sputnik, RT
The West has been accusing Russian media of spreading misinformation and Kremlin propaganda. In November, the European Parliament passed a resolution where it described the perceived Russian propaganda as a threat to Europe’s unity. France has been especially active with such accusations, with President Emmanuel Macron even denying RT and Sputnik access to his campaign headquarters. Reacting to the issue, Simonyan said that not a single example of spreading misinformation by the Russian media was ever provided by Macron's team. She added that "by labeling any news reporting he disagrees with as 'fake news,'" Macron "sets a dangerous precedent" that jeopardizes the freedom of speech and journalism.

In a comment on the European Parliament motion, Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the Russian media for doing a good job and said the resolution showed that the Western concept of democracy was apparently degrading.

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