Truthmeter’s response to the latest disinformation campaign against their website and newsroom

Among these numerous manipulations and untruths, there is simply not a trace of truth, writes Truthmeter.mk


What can be noted from this disinformation campaign – just like in the previous ones – is the lack of argumentation on the side of those attacking, related to possible errors, oversight, or inaccuracy expressed by Truthmeter’s editorial staff to justify the criticism and threats against us. Among these numerous manipulations and untruths, there is simply not a trace of truth, writes Truthmeter.mk.

Under the content-sharing agreement between Truthmeter.mk and Meta.mk, we republish the text below:


Dear Readers,

The editorial staff of Truthmeter, and its publisher – Metamorphosis Foundation from Skopje, are yet again the target of a disinformation campaign on the social networks which, as was case in the past, consists of untruths, insults, slander, but also hate speech and, more frightfully, badly disguised calls for violence against Truthmeter’s journalists and employees of the Foundation, which have been shared through the comments on the posts of the account owners. The responsibility for sharing such contents and not removing responses lies with their authors, but also with the account owners.


The reason for the series of lies and attacks in this campaign is our fact-checks of shared posts on the most widely used network in the country – Facebook, owned by the American social network giant Meta. Again, we are facing false claims of alleged censorship, and even violations of the constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of thought and expression, as well as lies about assumed deletions of contents performed by Truthmeter. Of course, none of this is true.

Even if we wanted to, Truthmeter’s editors cannot do such a thing – technically, it is impossible to delete anything from Facebook or from any other social network belonging to Meta. Moreover, Truthmeter and Metamorphosis Foundation have a court ruling on the given topic in their favor that clearly and plainly states that nothing in the work of the editorial staff resembles anything close to censorship nor does it violate the freedom of expression and the opinion of the social network users.

The same thing that Truthmeter is doing in North Macedonia in partnership with the Meta company, is performed by more than 100 other fact-checking organizations worldwide in their own countries and in their own languages. None of them have been accused of any kind of censorship or violation of freedom of thought and expression.

Like the other fact-checking organizations in the world that cooperate with Meta, Truthmeter is also certified on a global level through an international fact-checking network, while the European fact-checkers are also certified on the European level through the European network that adopted even stricter rules and criteria to comply with European Union acquis. To put it differently, Meta is required to safeguard its social platforms from disinformation, hence the contracts concluded with independent and certified fact-checkers as is the case with Truthmeter for our country.


What can be noted from this disinformation campaign – just like in the previous ones – is the lack of argumentation on the side of those attacking related to possible errors, oversight or inaccuracy expressed by Truthmeter’s editorial staff to justify the criticism and threats against us. Among these numerous manipulations and untruths, there is simply not a trace of truth. This particular case contains similar disinformation that we had to deal with in the past, related to the topic of the pandemic and vaccination, that we have fact-checked previously – not only by Truthmeter per se, but also by our fact-checking peers worldwide. Things become even clearer when we remember that Meta rules for disinformation pertaining to vaccination, are extremely strict, and the reason why Meta demands users of social networks to be accurate and clear.


Even if a disinformation piece was shared and a fact-check was performed afterward by Truthmeter’s editorial staff, Meta’s rules make it possible to remove the rating assigned if the given disinformation is proved true. Truthmeter has always appreciated users who correct their shared contents, in which case the assigned rating was removed.


In compliance with Meta rules, Truthmeter’s editorial staff is not obliged to respond to letters containing lies, attacks, insults, and unbecoming contents. Nevertheless, this time we decided to respond and deal with the manipulation spread by the attacks.

Such is the case of the alleged professional journalistic revelation of the donors and projects of Truthmeter’s and Metamorphosis Foundation, although they have already been published by Truthmeter’s newsroom, in line with our transparency and accountability practices (which in this case are abused).

Furthermore, the manipulations that direct the social network users to document our fact-checks, save them, and send them to a specific location for our alleged exposure and lawsuits (for what?), even though they can be found on our website at any time in their entirety.

As editors do not delete Facebook content, they do not delete content from their portal either

Likewise, alleged sanctions and bans assigned by Truthmeter are mentioned, which is also not true, since the editorial board has neither the technical nor any other capacity (nor the desire) to do such a thing.

We don’t even want to mention the unauthorized and unpermitted sharing of photographs of our staff copied from Metamorphosis’s website. In this particular case, old photos of the former staff are shared (as in every other organization, there are people who had worked with Truthmeter and Metamorphosis Foundation but are no longer part of the staff) and who might face all sorts of problems due to such manipulation and disinformation. Moreover, our peers have already experienced verbal abuse and other forms of harassment having been recognized in their neighborhoods or places of living by the photographs published in such a manner.


Truthmeter’s newsroom will continue to perform its contracted obligations with Meta because we believe that this is the proper way of dealing with disinformation.

Is it necessary to remind the public about the numerous anti-vaxxer disinformation efforts that grow like mushrooms after rain immediately after the recommendation of the Infectious Disease Commission to declare a epidemic in Skopje.

As we did in the past, we will also work on this and other projects for countering disinformation, in compliance with our methodology and the international and European fact-checking codes, which enjoy clear support from the European Union. We are fully aware that such disinformation campaigns, full of attacks, manipulations, threats, and hate speech will continue, especially now in the pre-election period. But we are ready to defend and protect our work also before the Macedonian courts if we need to. It will not be our first experience! Nor our last!

Truthmeter Editorial Team


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