CIVIL, at the public event “Electoral system and reforms: CIVIL’s recommendations“ (02 March 2022), presented its publication “Elections under a cannonade of disinformation and hate speech”, in which reports, analyses, comments of CIVIL are published that result from the long-term and short-term monitoring of political and election processes..
This publication is available online and is the second of the four that refer to the implementation of the 2021 Local Elections.
CIVIL’s monitoring team publishes numerous content on disinformation and hate speech in the publication. The spread of fake news and disinformation usually has the goal to damage someone’s reputation or gain profit. Often, the spread of disinformation comes from centers of power, political or commercial entities, in order to make an influence and to more quickly reach a larger targeted audience.
Fake news are spread by people, that is, entities with a name and last name or identity, and not by the very social media. Also, creators and spreaders of fake news and disinformation provoke hate speech, and often hate crimes as well.
Information chaos, by clicking on an enticing, often startling headline, leads to a sea of disinformation and fake news, which, in addition to a lack of media literacy, have an adverse effect on consumers, public opinion and trust in the institutions. The main reason why social media are most directly associated with fake news is the speed with which information can travel nowadays through various online platforms.
Freedom of expression, but also the corpus of human rights and freedoms overall, must be promoted every day, because only free citizens can build free thought, personal stance and integrity, and the development of these features is also key for a long-term and thorough victory against fake news and conspiracy theories.
CIVIL monitored the election process as a component of other projects, including: “European perspectives” with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, “Civic Lenses”, supported by National Endowment for Democracy and the institutional support of the Civica Mobilitas Program, financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
The organization thanks all the observers, associates and collaborators who gave their selfless support and worked dedicatedly on implementing the election monitoring. Much gratitude also to the huge number of citizens who expressed their support and trust for CIVIL.
The views expressed in this publication are the responsibility of CIVIL and the authors and do not reflect the views of the donors.
Translation: N. Cvetkovska