Tatiana Mindeková, EUROPEUM
As a part of the IRI's Beacon project initiative, EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy analysed narratives spread about the European Green Deal (EGD) and green policies through the Czech chain emails. The emails were collected by the Czech Elves, a citizen's movement of volunteers from various backgrounds that collect and confront disinformation spread by both foreign and domestic actors. The emails analysed for this piece were from the period between November 2021 and October 2022 and were filtered with a predefined search on the website by using the tag ''green politics''. During the monitoring period, a filtered search showed 375 unique emails with the selected criteria. The following sections will describe the general properties of these emails and what narratives were identified within them. In addition, short explanations of what is misleading in these emails and what we know based on verifiable facts can be found in the last section. The identified narratives will be further analysed and compared to Czech and Slovak mainstream and disinformation-spreading media during the next stages of the project and the conclusions will be available on the IRI's Beacon project initiative website.
During the monitoring period, the search showed the highest number of results in November 2021 (60), followed by February (56) and January (48). The lowest number of results was found in October (8) and September (14). However, emails can be caught and added to the database later than the date they were spread; thus, there can be more results for these months after the end of the monitoring period. The higher number of results in particular months is likely tied to some significant world or Czech affairs, such as the start of the Russian war in Ukraine or the rise of energy prices in the Czech Republic. However, it is important to note that the database counts emails with different subject lines but the same content separately, hence the data on how many original emails were produced in the given month is lacking.
''Green politics'' chain emails often contain only pictures that vary in type. For instance, emails contained pictures with jokes and political satire or pictures of politicians with made-up quotes. There were also pictures supposed to highlight failures of modern green technologies, such as burning electric vehicles or parts of wind turbines shown as trash. Another type of mail included only a short text containing the link to either a Youtube video or to an article on another domain. In some cases, chain mail was using the text from an article as the main body. A few of the emails that were found in the database were written in the Slovak language.
Compared to the sounding of some disinfo posts monitored in the previous blog, many of the analysed chain emails contain more alarmist messaging and calls for action or even open rebellion. There are instances of emails that predict a complete apocalypse as a result of closing down coal mines, emails claiming that blackouts will occur across the whole of Europe or that power generation from fossil fuels is the only type of energy that can save Czechia from cold and hunger. Even more disturbing are the emails that are asking citizens to organise an uprising as the EGD is used to control citizens and orchestrate the energy crisis
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This article has been prepared with support from IRI's Beacon Project. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of IRI.