Presidential candidate Jiri Drahos, who lost against Milos Zeman in the last election, is sure that disinformation was one of the main reasons. The more momentum he gained in his campaign, the more trolls and conspiracies were brought out. After winning a seat in the senate, Drahos became active about the risks of disinformation, and the need to educate others how to fight back or even be made aware of the issue.
The big step forward came when Drahos met Mark Hlavica, the Director of the Association of Communication Agencies (ACA), joined Drahos in his fight. The ACA even stood with Drahos in the Senate on Monday during the “Careful, Disinformation!, Don’t feed it” conference. Drahos claims that he left his disinformation activists too free a path. Now with the ACA, and it’s over 70 members pledging to help stop the spread or financing of misinformation by not supporting their sites, the activists will have an uphill battle with truth.
In Slovakia there is a project called konspiratori.sk which lists suspected or proven disinformation sites. This makes the work of anti-disinformation groups easier, especially for example advertising agencies, which do not want to support these portals. The ACA and the Senate discussed making a similar project in Czechia.
In the mean-time the conference attendees agreed that education and awareness are the keys to success. Drahos is starting a new program called Media Literacy and Critical Thinking, which is aimed mainly at the regions outside of the capital.
The theme is very real. Considered a problem globally, there will be a lot more awareness made by agencies and governments to keep the records straight in the future.