Developing Media Literacy Best Way to Fight Fake News

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, May 24, 2019 – Several dozen fake profiles on social networks systematically release fake news toward the European Union and the best way to fight against that phenomenon is to strengthen media literacy among citizens, Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek said on Thursday in Brussels.

Minister Obuljen Koržinek attended a meeting of the Education, Youth, Culture and Sports Council and one of the topics discussed was the fight against fake information. The debate was held within the framework of preparations of a report on the lessons learned with regard to the fight against disinformation, which is being prepared by the Romanian chairmanship in cooperation with the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for a meeting of the European Council in June.

“During the debate the ministers presented concrete examples of dozens of fake profiles that have millions of views and who systematically release fake news and which are usually removed by self-regulation by social networks,” Obuljen Koržinek said.

The main conclusion during the debate, she said, was that with the appearance of social networks, various anonymous sources have emerged that release false news with a very big reach and with full respect for the freedom of expression and independence of the media, it is necessary to continue with those measures that the EU has launched – to develop an instrument to check facts, spread information about the source of fake news and continue support large networks in implementing their rules of conduct.

“Some truly concerning data was presented about the number of sources who have been proven to have been releasing fake news and have an unbelievable reach. Media literacy was underlined as an essential competency that will enable youth and all our citizens to strengthen their resilience, to learn how to recognise fake news and all that was debated in the context of the European election but also the big risk for democratic processes overall,” she said.

Asked whether sources of fake news had been detected in Croatia, she said that there had not been any concrete examples yet but holds that that will begin to occur soon.

She added that some EU member states advocate staying within the current system according to which social networks fight against fake news through self-regulation and that is the approach that Croatia has while on the other hand some states are seeking regulation and penalties.

She added that social networks are not incorporated in media legislation and that this is a question of in whose remit this is.

Obuljen Koržinek said that she had informed her counterparts of what Croatia had done with regard to fake news from “soft” measure like Media Literacy Day, which is held every year and reaches a large number of citizens, particularly youth and measures under which the Council for Electronic Media has established a system that monitors the transparency of advertising.

A strategic project is being prepared and will be developed through an initiative of the electronic media council that will check facts and a contact point at the state government level has been established to share information about disinformation, she added.

More news about media in Croatia can be found in the Politics section.


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