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Types of fake news, population protection against distorted facts, the role of state bodies and journalists in information wars

Digital analysts have already attributed the spread of fakes and deepfakes to the most significant cyber threats this year. According to various estimates, even today up to 60 percent of the world Internet traffic is provided by artificial programs, including the spread of various rumours and fake news. At a February meeting with the heads of the leading state media, the President compared this information poison to chemical weapons. We discussed with experts how the promotion of unreliable news stories forms public opinion and what can be opposed to this. The conversation was attended by Vitaly Demirov, an analyst of the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Research (BISR), Oleg Gaidukevich, Deputy Chairman of the Permanent Commission on International Affairs of the House of Representatives, as well as Professor Aleksandr Ivanovsky, an expert who, as part of a scientific expert group at the State Secretariat of the Security Council, developed the Information Security Concept.

Supporters of sub-truths

«Р»: Today, fake information often becomes a tool of information and foreign policy influence. What is happening in this sense in our country? Fakes of what level and of what topic are widespread?

V. Demirov: In the country, about 74 percent of the population are Internet users. Moreover, the paradigm of network interaction has recently changed significantly: the number of users themselves has increased, their status today allows you to moderate information, change content, enter your personal data. All this makes it possible to more effectively build commercial and business models, information policy, which is why the information space has become an environment for a fairly active spread of rumors and fakes. Any blogger or activist with a channel (YouTube, Telegram and others) can compete with classical media, determine the information agenda, and influence the mass consciousness. Of course, this creates a certain range of risks.

The concept of information security, which operates in our country, is aimed at protecting, among other things, against destructive content and meanings, in contrast to the West, where, as a rule, only channels of information dissemination are protected within the framework of the concept of cybersecurity. In general, our state has chosen a balanced and competent policy in regulating the information space.

We also see successes against the background of current processes: in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, many are trying to disseminate inaccurate information, spread panic, but we can see even in our conversation that the state pays close attention to this topic and subsequently takes professional measures to regulate the situation...

The full article is available in the Russian version of the site.