By: Igor Stojanović
The problem of generating and spreading fake news and disinformation in BiH is more serious than many think. Media, especially those online, regularly spread information – by accident or intentionally – from other sources (i.e. news agencies, internet portals and other media) without checking facts and an intention to gain the biggest possible ratings per views/ clicks/ visits. The end goal is to draw attention of the marketing agencies and earn money from commercials and/or gain a political power. In this process, information becomes disinformation – fake or misleading information created, presented and communicated for economic purpose or intentionally deceiving the public.
To obtain correct information under these circumstances we must critically review data presented by media and individuals on social networks. Being superficial may lead us to an illusion that we are adequately informed about the events in the society, or get us in the situation where we spread the unverified information (especially through social media) thus becoming an agent in spreading of disinformation leading to erosion of trust among people and lack of confidence in democratic institutions.
So, what to do?
Although a common sense is our most important tool in making a decision on whom to trust, there are also many simple digital tools that can help us fact-check information before passing it to our friends.
#NeVjerujNaPrvu (#FactChekingMatters) application offers information on disinformation phenomena, fact-checking techniques/tools and accountable information sharing. It also contains educational video modules, brochures and texts by the leading regional experts in the field of disinformation (Stefan janjić, Tijana Cvjetičanin, Emir Zulejhić, Vuk Vučetić, Maja Ćalović …) as well as the latest news on the efforts undertaken by the European Union in BiH to reduce and prevent the negative impact that disinformation has on the society, especially in the context of ongoing EU integration processes.
Application’s home page offers a possibility of quick access to the following sections: about the project, video, materials and news. These contain more information about:
- the project ‘Education of Journalists and the General Public on Trends in Digital Media’ implemented by the European Union in BiH,
- educational video modules on topics the subjects of meaning and main reasons for using disinformation, recognizing fake profiles and non-credible online media, tools for verifying online photo and video content, use of manipulative statistics and pseudoscience in the function of disinformation and financing of the fake news,
- brochure and analytical texts on the topic of disinformation, and
- news on activities in the field of media literacy and fight against disinformation.
Application can be downloaded via Google PlayStore.
We need information to make decisions and form our opinion; therefore we must do more to ensure that they are not fake, incomplete or bias.
#NeVjerujNaPrvu is a project of European Union in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union