What they kept silent came out. They ordered the “disinfection spread” inside. And there’s more

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04/03/2024 17:27 | Monitoring

Petr Fiala’s government has been talking for a long time about the problem of spreading disinformation and the need to solve this problem. It has now come to light that the Ministry of the Interior under the leadership of Víto Rakušan (STAN) commissioned a survey, according to which 70% of people agree that the state should be able to intervene against the media spreading disinformation. The question of how the state should proceed in limiting the spread of disinformation even appears in university entrance exams.

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In December, the director of the H21 Institute, Adam Růžička, reported on an “unpublished study”, which the List of Reports had available and according to which misinformation is understood as a big problem in Czech society. Specifically, 76% of respondents said that disinformation is a problem that threatens the security of the Czech Republic, and 70% even agree that the state should be able to limit the media that spread disinformation.

In the study, 24% of respondents also stated that at least once in the past three months, they had shared information via e-mail on social networks, which the large media, including the public ones, had allegedly deliberately withheld, and which they only found in the alternative media.

“This is such an unfortunate concept of disinf at first glance. I can think of plenty of examples where I shared something that was not reported in the big media (eg the Westminster Declaration). I expect that most people here feel the same,” wrote Růžička at the time, wondering what kind of study it actually was.

It has now emerged that it was a study by the STEM agency commissioned by the Home Office. “In December, I got upset over an article where it was written that according to a ‘still unpublished study’, a quarter of Czechs spread disinformation. Now it turned out that the study was commissioned by the Ministry of the Interior. Seznam Zpráva, that could probably have been mentioned in the article, right?” responds Růžička.

Petr Švec points out on the X network that the government’s fight against disinformation has even reached university entrance tests. Specifically for admissions to the Faculty of Arts of the Palacký University in Olomouc the question arose as to what the government should do in the long-term fight against fake news.

“One of the official test questions for psychology exams for bachelor’s degrees at universities in the Czech Republic in 2023 was: What should the government do in the long-term fight against fake news? Five answers, all political, only one of them was considered ‘correct’,” points out Švec.

The only correct answer to this question was “to support an educational campaign about the truth of the information”. At the same time, someone could also consider other options as correct, such as “supporting the spread of diverse opinions regardless of the truth, because freedom of speech is the basis of democracy”, or, on the other hand, “restricting the freedom of the press and media if it threatens the security of the state”.

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author: Jakub Makarovič


The article is in Czech

Czechia

Tags: silent ordered disinfection spread

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