Филип Стојановски. Фото: Исечок од видео на ТВ 21

At the debate show Click Plus on TV 21 on the 10th of May, Filip Stojanovski of Metamorphosis Foundation, spoke on the raising of North Macedonia’s general public awareness about the negative effects of disinformation. He stressed that according to the new public opinion polls, a large number of people consider the disinformation a serious problem for the society and are demanding from the state to deal with it, i.e. requesting the media to be held accountable and bear responsibility.

“Over 83% of the people consider that the disinformation is a societal problem, a problem for our society, and the majority of them are requesting interventions by the state towards solving this problem. There are also requests for amendments of the legal framework that would allow all types of media to bear greater responsibility. This was something new, since previously this type of issue was not of concern to the general public. Now we see that there is awareness among the people, and there is an awareness to request from the state’s institutions to protect them – together with the institutions of democracy i.e. the media,” Stojanovski said.

He explained that the people are demanding the implementation of professional journalist standards and the journalists to invest much bigger efforts in the fight against disinformation and manipulations.

“A large number of people see there is a problem with the content. A large number of people consider they cannot always recognize those manipulations and are seeking help from the journalists. One of those requests was that the journalists should apply their standards and fight in the front lines against disinformation,” Stojanovski said.

He stressed that the majority of people have the impression that the politicians are among the most intensive sources of disinformation, hand in hand with the media and the social networks.

“The politicians are lined the first, and are followed by media, social media, portals…There are others, but 70 to 80 and more percent of people consider this type of sources as problematic, although we have to distance ourselves here – not all politicians can be considered as such i.e. 80% of all politicians. This is the opinion of people who are interpreting this type of issue anyway it suits them,” said Stojanovski

He concluded that the most important thing in considering the public’s opinions is that the awareness of the problem is growing, together with the readiness to support activities that would solve this problem.