Not only do we need guides through the jungle of manipulated and false news, we ourselves, as recipients, should also cultivate the ability to think critically and develop the ability to check the sources, quality, and credibility of the information we receive.
Conspiracy theories are a plague of our time that has been gaining strength, particularly in countries where the citizen’s trust in authorities and institutions is low.
Despite overwhelming and publicly available evidence, pro-Kremlin media have denied large troop movements and continue to spread disinformation about their purely defensive motives and Ukrainian provocations.
Amid Russia’s growing military build-up along Ukraine’s borders, the Slovak pro-Kremlin media are increasingly turning to aggressive rhetoric directed against NATO and Ukraine.
Disinformation narratives concerning the energy crisis took a back seat; the go-to topics for disinformation actors over the past two weeks were NATO and Russia, Polexit, “traditional values”, and the ever-present COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 outbreak caused a global public health crisis, but unfortunately, its impacts go far beyond the health dimension. Since the beginning of the crisis, disinformation actors have played a key role in spreading disinformation and hoaxes.
United Russia party gained a majority of votes in a parliamentary election accompanied by alleged widespread violations. While observers report cases of forced voting and vote-rigging, Russian officials shift the blame to foreign media and NGOs. Their rhetoric is echoed by the pro-Russian disinformation media.
As the world remembers the victims of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre, conspiracy theories about what “really” happened are resurfacing and continue to roam the Internet twenty years after the event, although most have been disproven and none confirmed by experts.
The rapid fall of the Afghan government and the hasty evacuation of refugees from Kabul’s airport provided ample opportunity for disinformation actors and media to spread streams of anti-American, anti-NATO and anti-refugee narratives. Accordingly, disinformation proliferated in the Slovak information space regarding the recent events in Afghanistan.
On August 10, the Slovak cabinet approved a series of changes to the COVID automat – an emotionally charged topic that had led to several anti-government protests in recent weeks. The new changes are due to come into force on August 16. They come after the last set of restrictions regarding the border regime was suspended by the Slovak Constitutional Court, giving the people who only got the 1st dose of vaccine the same rights as those who are unvaccinated.