Social networks and portals contribute most to fake news expansion, says Cekovic

Social networks and portals, which are being increasingly used as information sources, contribute the most to the expansion of fake news and misinformation, Elvira Cekovic from the Agency of Electronic Media (AEM) has said.

Cekovic remarks that traditional media in Montenegro, radios and televisions, take much more take of the fake news and misinformation issue than the new media, such as portals and social networks.

“Our survey testifies that, however, television is the media which is still used most widely, but increasing number of people are turning to the portals and social networks”, Cekovic tells the MINA News Agency.

She underscores that the social networks are trying control fake content and tackle it, adding that however they don’t have enough capacity and interest in it.

On the other hand, we, as the users, often share such content and we’ve seen, in particular during the pandemic, that we’ve been using the Internet more often and that people more often turn to unreliable sources”, says Cekovic.

According to her, the bottom line is that everyone has to be careful about which media they trust.

Cekic also underscores that more attention must be paid to the media literacy must.

“People need to be able to to check which information should be trusted, and which information should not be shared or read at all”, Cekovic continues.

She adds that AEM formally and legally does not have the authority to deal with the fake news and misinformation, adding that drafting of a new law on audiovisual media services is in progress, which will make the AEM in charge of media literacy.

Cekovic adds that fake news and misinformation do a lot of harm and that it is important to deal with this issue actively through the institutions.

“It is not enough to leave it to the Agency to deal with it, it is important to get other ministries and state institutions involved in this issue, to we raise the issue of media literacy and the fight with these things together”, Cekovic underscores.

She adds that, regarding fake news, it is important to cooperate with social networks, to discover algorithms that potentially favor this type of news, as well as to cooperate with fact-checking organizations.