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EU envoy: Albania is resisting disinformation attempts, sanctions against Russia are not...

EU envoy: Albania is resisting disinformation attempts, sanctions against Russia

Russian aggression in Ukraine has been followed by a widespread wave of fake news on social media and various accounts on apps with many followers as part of Kremlin propaganda. The EU's charge d'affaires in Tirana told the Voice of America that the disinformation linking the energy and food crisis with the imposition of sanctions against Russia is not finding ground in Albania. Likewise, journalists and analysts note with concern that the war in Ukraine is being accompanied by a battle in various internet media.

Russian aggression in Ukraine is being accompanied by an increased effort by the Kremlin to expand disinformation and propaganda through social media and fake accounts on various more popular apps. This has prompted EU representatives to increase efforts to counter this disinformation. Through a special portal, untruths can be confronted with the truth about the Russian aggression in Ukraine, the war that has been going on since February of this year and its impact on the economic markets.

In an interview for the Voice of America, the EU delegation in Albania, Alexis Hupin, says that in relation to these disinformation, the situation in Albania is being closely monitored and it is established that they are not penetrating. The Brussels diplomat says that this most likely comes from the fact that the country has a Euro-Atlantic orientation, which, as he says, makes the public and the media stable and resilient to the misinformation that tends to spread in the country.

"We are witnessing the resistance, in order not to fall into the trap of misinformation and especially in the light of the difficult situation that people are living with the increase in energy prices, but also with the increase in food prices. There is a tendency to fall prey to misinformation, and by that I mean that a link is made between rising prices and sanctions against Russia. We know for sure that there is no connection between sanctions and price increases. Indeed, the sanctions are very carefully designed not to affect food or chemical fertilizers, but there is an effort by some to spread this misinformation. While this misinformation is gaining ground in other parts of the world, what we see at the moment in Albania is a good resistance,

The official of the EU delegation in Albania says that disinformation has had a great impact in other countries of the world, especially in Asia and North Africa, regarding access to food, as a result of the narrative in many of these countries that the growth of prices and food shortages have come from the sanctions. Fact checkers in Albania find that the war on the ground after the Russian aggression in Ukraine is also accompanied by a battle in social media, between the untruths produced by the Russian government and the real news coming from reliable sources that verify the facts. Through fake accounts in various applications, these falsehoods are spread rapidly, creating confusion and division in opinion. Faktoje.al, part of the international fact-checking network, has identified some of them as part of Russian propaganda.

“Një ndër lajmet mbi të cilat Faktoje.al ka punuar është një deklaratë e përsëritur e Ambasadës ruse në Tiranë, por edhe e Ministrisë se Jashtme ruse, sipas së cilës 150 mercenarë shqiptarë po luftonin në Ukrainë. Kur janë pyetur nga Faktoje.al nuk kanë patur asnjë reagim. Ne kemi pyetur dhe Ministrisë e Jashtme shqiptare dhe atë të brendshme të cilat deklaruan se ky është një informacion i pavërtetë”- tha për Zërin e Amerikës Klodiana Kapo, drejtuese e Faktoje.al.

Politologu Ilir Kalemaj, i tha Zërit të Amerikës, se Rusia prej disa vitesh ka kultivuar ato që njihen si ushtri propagandistike në internet, për të krijuar dezinformim në shoqeritë perëndimore, që sipas tij ka prekur dhe vendet e ballkanit perëndimor.

“Lajmet e rreme janë kryefjala e dezinformimit sot dhe natyrisht që krijojnë ato që quhen të vërteta paralele, apo të vërteta alternativë, të cilat nuk i përgjigjen fakteve. Ato krijojnë narracione që kanë pikënisjen fillestar përçarjen e faktorit perëndimor dhe zbehjen e fuqisë së tij globale”- tha Ilir Kalemaj, politolog.

Por nëse lufta në terren një ditë mund të përfundojë beteja me dizinfomacionin do të jetë e gjatë dhe shumëdimensionale. I ngarkuari me punë i BE në Shqipëri i tha Zërit të Amerikës, se përjekjet e qeverive perëndimore janë fokusuar tek ndërgjegjësimi në media, programet e veçanta në shkolla, dhe financimi i rrjeteve që verifikojnë faktet.

“Ne i financojmë ata plotësisht në mënyrë që të ndihmohet rritja e ndërgjegjësimit dhe siç , po përpiqemi të ndikojmë te brezi i ri. Duke pasur edhe vetë fëmijë, i kuptoj vështirësitë e brezit të ri në mediet sociale për të bërë dallimin mes informacionit të besueshëm dhe informacionit më pak të besueshëm. Shohim veçanërisht përhapje të madh të dezinformimit në llogari të rreme me shumë ndjekës. Ndërgjegjësimi mbi median është diçka që ne po përpiqemi ta çojmë përmes programeve nëpër shkolla”- u shpreh Alexis Hupin, i ngarkuari me punë i BE në Shqipëri.

Disinformation is an enemy of truth, analysts say, and it must be fought with all necessary means. Today, in the age of using advanced technology, the speed of spreading fake news is high, so the efforts to oppose them became even more difficult./ VOA