The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court last week rejected the appeal of the Musu TV (Our TV) website and upheld the Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission’s decision to fine it 2,200 euros for spreading misinformation.
The court ruled that the website’s operator was aware of and responsible for the content it chooses and uploads.
According to the court, the media watchdog was right to conclude that Musu TV had spread disinformation and that programs were uploaded onto its website knowingly and intentionally, and with the knowledge and understanding that they constituted disinformation.
Musu TV was fined on October 19, 2022.
According to the LRTC, the news reports published on the musutv.lt website were aimed at forming a favorable opinion towards Russia and Belarus’ foreign policy, discrediting the Lithuanian authorities, their legitimacy, independence and democracy.
The reports also gave biased coverage of events in Donetsk and Luhansk, essentially questioning Ukraine’s sovereignty and its territorial integrity, and justifying Russia’s military aggression in these regions. The aim was to give the viewers the impression that Ukraine was in fact the aggressor in the military conflict with Russia and that Ukraine was using targeted military action against the civilian population. It was also alleged that Ukraine was run by Fascists and Nazis.
Moreover, the new reports in question highlighted Lithuania’s dependence on other countries and lack of independence, and the foreign policy and actions of NATO governments were presented as warmongering and fomenting discord in Eastern Europe.
In its defense, Musu TV claimed that the reports referred to by the LRTC were not its content and that it was not responsible for the content published by others. The media watchdog, however, said, the first person who disseminates untrue information is liable for publishing it.
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