A fake news story is shared 927 times on average in Serbia, using different pages and profiles, Alexander Dardeli, the executive vice president for strategy and development at the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) – an international non-profit organisation specialised in global education and development – told the US multimedia agency, Voice of America, in an interview on Sunday (24 May).
Between 12 March and 12 April, a total of 43 false narratives were shared through the media and social networks, Dardeli said, adding that while some favoured China’s efficient response to the global coronavirus pandemic, others supported conspiracy theories, such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) being responsible for the creation of COVID-19.
According to the IREX official, Serbia’s civil society, media professionals, government institutions and the private sector need to work together to address the problem of misinformation in the country.
“They should get together and accept long-term commitment resolving the problem of misinformation. Unfortunately, Serbia is lagging behind in the area of media freedom and the work of media professionals,” Dardeli said.