Threats and hate speech for North Macedonia Union of High School Students after satire article


The „Kooperacija.mk“satire web site recently published a satirical article titled “I WANT THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS TO BE CANCELLED!! WE WANT TO LEARN!!!” allegedly written after the statement by a high school student and illustrated with a photo from the most recent public appearance of the President of the Union of High School Students of the Republic of North Macedonia (UHSSRNM), Luka Pavikjevikj.

The article says that the statement was given by an anonymous high school student, but because of the photograph of Pavikjevikj that was used, the majority of those that saw the Facebook post, which hass more than 34,000 views, obviously concluded that the statement was given by the Union’s president, so they wrote comments using foul language and hurling threats to Pavikjevikj.

Hence, UHSSRNM says the threats for the Union’s members and its president were reported to the Department for Computer Crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the Association of Journalists of Macedonia, the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia, UNICEF and the Helsinki Committee were also notified about the incidents.

“It is crucial to note that this was a satire article writen by Kooperacija.mk’s author, and not a real statement by any member of the Union of High School Students. Due to the published photograph of Luka Pavikjevikj in the article, the majority of the readers have concluded that it is a statement by a member of the Union i.e. its president itself,”  UHSSRNM says.

The members of the UHSSRNM have expressed their dissatisfaction and disappointment, and have stressed that as the biggest high school organization they have distanced themselves from any kind of responsibility regarding Kooperacija.mk’s article.

“The Union’s stance and its reports aren’t in any way related to the previously mentioned article. For clarity’s sake, we would like to express our disappointment with the personal attacks, insults, and comments directly aimed at Luka Pavikjevik and the Union. The Union is disappointed that the portal didn’t take any actions to remove the comments containing threats and of its decision to use this photograph,” the reaction reads.

UHSSRNM also stated that situations like these additionally stress the need of more education and raising awareness about the media literacy, which is one of Union’s main efforts.

“This is an additional a motive to continue working more diligently toward meeting our goals,” stressed the Union.

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