Bardhyl Jashari, Klodiana Kapo, Shkelzen Osmani / Photo: print screen from a video on TV21 (the “Click Plus” show)
Political parties are the main sources of disinformation in North Macedonia, and they become even more dangerous when combined with disinformation from foreign agents. This was pointed out by Bardhyl Jashari, Director of the Metamorphosis Foundation, during his appearance as a guest on the „Click Plus“ show on TV21. According to Shkelzen Osmani from the fact checking portal Hybrid.info, disinformation in Kosovo mainly comes from media that are close to the government in Serbia. Meanwhile, in Albania, according to Klodiana Kapo, Director of Faktoje.al, the citizens lost trust in the institutions after the cyber-attacks from Iran, Portalb.mk reported.
According to the Director of the Metamorphosis Foundation, this disinformation not only degrades the democracy, but also the society as a whole, especially when our country aims to become part of the EU.
“Journalists and the media played an important role, however they did not prevent the degradation by fighting against the disinformation process. The citizens have lost trust in the media. If journalists were doing their job properly, the impact would have been weaker and we would not have reached this level of degradation that we are facing now,” Jashari said.
Among other things, he emphasized that depending on the specific important process that is happening in our country, such as elections or referendums, disinformation campaigns are also being intensified.
“Disinformation is very dangerous, it usually intensifies when there is an important event, for example when there are elections or referendums. Such information campaigns can affect each of us and thus can represent a specific risk. This is not only a problem of the media, but it is also a problem that affects the security of our country and the institutions of our country, as well as the loss of trust in the institutions,” Jashari said.
On the other hand, Shkelzen Osmani from the fact checking portal Hybrid.info pointed out that disinformation in Kosovo mainly comes from media that are close to the authorities in Serbia.
“In Kosovo, we have not had any dangerous cyber-attack, we have had cases where the websites of certain institutions were attacked by hackers mainly from Serbia. We have also had cyber-attacks on private televisions and the state television. On the other hand, the Government is preparing a law against these attacks which is expected to pass in the Parliament. In Kosovo, disinformation news comes from media that are close to the authorities in Serbia. They are spreading disinformation narratives, such as the information that Albin Kurti will expel the Kosovo Serbs. The victims of this disinformation are the Serbian citizens in Kosovo,” said Osmani.
According to Klodiana Kapo, Director of Faktoje.al, the citizens in Albania have lost trust in the country’s institutions after the cyber-attacks from Iran. She said that many citizens were disappointed when they saw that their personal data were so easily posted on social networks and the internet.
“Iran started the disinformation activity in Albania and this was publicly seen throughout 2022, when it started the cyber-attacks against the Albanian government. As a result of these attacks, many sites for online services for the citizens were unavailable for a long time and many information or personal data of the citizens leaked to the public and were spread on social networks. The majority of the citizens have lost confidence in the country’s institutions because of these attacks,” Kapo said.
These are some of the comments during the television debate “Click Plus” on TV21 within the international conference “Digital Transformation for Citizens” organized by the “Metamorphosis” Foundation within the „ICEDA“ project, which took place the past two days and ends today.