By Natalka Zubar
November 21st 2013 the information war against Ukraine was started.
During the last two years, the great number of fake accounts in social networks were created in facebook, twitter and VKontakte, which were mostly sleeping before the beginning of November. Now these accounts are actively creating the white noise, jam the communication channels and distribute misinformation.
The disinformation is distributed via the social networks and websites created for this purpose solely. Unfortunately, lots of misinformation is broadcast by other, even professional media. Most notable samples of misinformation were – the news about the restriction of cash flow by the National Bank of Ukraine and the news that the big number of European VIPs will not attend the OSCE summit in Kyiv.
Government sites are being under DDoS attacks. The access to legislative database of the Ukrainian Parliament and the current crime reports of Ministry of Interior are inaccessible periodically.
The situation in Kyiv is nearing the military state by the level of tensions. The activists on streets and all the citizens who watch the unaccountable and unprofessional media are kept in a state of permanent arousal expecting provocations, they are trying to check the rumors, which mostly appear to be misinformation.
The defragmentation of media space and the absence of freedom of speech in many regions of Ukraine let to the distorted picture of reality in minds of people living in the different regions of Ukraine.
On my expert opinion, the situation is the threat to the wholeness of the territory and the national security of Ukraine.
The citizens are aroused psychologically by the distribution of information emotionally colored, false, unverified or inspired by the political affiliations of the owners or journalists. The journalists substitute the information on the event by their opinion.
Under the circumstances, I call the journalists to put date/timestamps and to turn on GPS on their photos and videos, do not edit the photos and videos before the publication. This is the only way to accumulate the verified and valid evidence in events the information war develops into… I do not even want to continue. God saves us!
I call the owners of the media, the newsrooms and the editors to publish their editorial/information policy. It may launch the dialogue between the colleagues and the consumers of media product consumers about the quality of information distributed its adherence to the standards and the responsibility of the journalists and the editors.
The information policy of Maidan website was adopted on December 18 2012 by the consensus of the editorial board of 18 newsmakers. I suggest you to send me the links to your policies as well.
I have to make a statement that three attempts to register the information agency according to the law via the State Registry Service failed THREE times. We do not have a single response to our request; we could not even contact this defunct agency via phone at least 20 times. We sent the requests to register the Information Agency “Maidan-Inform” (the name we use since Dec 20 2000) and Information Agency “Stelya”. The receipts indicating the government agency got our requests are attached.
Unfortunately, I predicted such development. My article is in Ukrainian, however I think the title tells it all: “Ukrainian media informed about the scientific fact of existence of mermaids. How does it endanger the European integration of Ukraine?”
Colleagues, let us work with dignity and responsibility!
Natalka Zubar (CV here)
- The Chairman of the Maidan Monitoring Information Center
- Journalist, member of the Independent Media Trade Union
- The head of Audit Commission of civic organization “Civic Movement We are Europeans”