Journalist associations condemn the hate speech in social networks to Metamorphosis Foundation’s personnel

The Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia (CMEM), the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM), the Macedonian Independent Syndicate of Journalists and Media Workers (ISJMW), and the Macedonian Institute for Media (MIM) condemn the hate speech against the personnel of the civil society organization Metamorphosis, which was spread in the social networks with the publication of an article “(PHOTO) These are the people who delete content from Facebook in Macedonia!” by Lider news site.

“With irresponsible publishing of such malicious content, where the basic rules of journalistic reporting haven’t been obeyed, including the violation of privacy and not contacting the other side, not only that great damage was done to these employees’ reputations, but their safety was also jeopardized through explicit calls in the social networks for lynching and their physical assassination. This is also bolstered by media which has decided to re-publish Lider’s article. What is worrisome is the fact that the article was shared by profiles in social networks by political subjects,” states the joint press release issued by CMEM, AJM, ISJMW and MIM.

It  states that all media that are publishing content in the social networks, at the same time are responsible for deleting comments that contain explicit hate speech, and this also includes Lider portal.

“At the same time, we call upon the Ministry of Interior to start an urgent investigation that will help determine the identity of the persons who have instigated hate speech through comments in the social networks. This must be followed by the Basic Public Prosecution which will have to open a case through which all those people will be sanctioned in accordance with the Criminal Code. It is necessary for these two institutions to understand the seriousness of the impunity in hate speech cases in the Republic of North Macedonia, which has to stop in order to avoid the occurrence of acts of hate speech. The growing presence of hate speech has imposed the necessity to join forces and oppose the phenomenon in a systematic manner. All of the efforts on part of the professional journalist and media community will be in vain if there is no response by the institutions that are in charge of sanctioning the hate speech,” states the press release issued by CMEM, AJM, ISJMW and MIM.