At the press conference, held in the premises of the Atlantic Council of Montenegro on January 28, 2020, Milan Jovanovic from the Digital Forensic Center presented the new research concerning the current disinformation campaign. The goal of the presentation was to display quantitative and qualitative results, with reference to the key examples of disinformation, media narrative analysis but also to modus operandi of these campaigns.
According to him, during the last three months, 35000 articles and posts concerning directly the Law on Freedom of Religion were posted on social media.
„The campaign is coming from Russia and Serbia. It is completely indicative that during the last three months, out of 35 000 of articles which concern this Law, 20 000 is coming from Serbia, therefore it can be concluded that someone is intentionally forcing particular content which is gaining in popularity“, Jovanovic said and added that around 9 000 pieces of information came from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Jovanovic said that it is crucial to determine the key groups and individuals who are posting fake news on this subject through social media analysis.
As he said, in their research the focus was on the concrete examples of disinformation in order to present everything that a disinformation campaign implies, not just fake news and disinformation.
Jovanovic explained that this includes calls for violence, radicalization of comments, using of children for political and propaganda purpose.
He stated that the presentation represents a summary of everything that has been done during the last three months.
„I think that no platform, media or social network is excluded from this campaign. Facebook, as the biggest social network, together with the media represents the largest source of information but, unfortunately, the disinformation as well“, said Jovanovic.
Jovanovic said that the analyisis of the modus operandi of disinformation campaign in Montenegro indicates that the same was used in the SEE countries, Ukraine and Western countries.
„If the campaign in the above-mentioned countries is initiated by Russia using the same modus operandi, we can conclude that this campaign is coming from the same address“, Jovanovic said.
As he explained, the problem of disinformation cannot be easily solved, otherwise, this problem would be neutralized in the much more developed countries and societies.
“I think that we should always work on ourselves, this is the best answer to the question „how to be resilient to disinformation? “. We need to check the sources of information and not to believe in everything that is being posted“, Jovanovic said.
He said that the protests organized due to the Law on Freedom of Religion were of a spiritual character at the beginning, but meanwhile, they started receiving political dimensions.
„At the beginning, the protest had a spiritual character which is reflected in the lack of any propaganda material, flags or other nationalistic landmarks. Now, everything that we see implies that the litanies are getting political character“, Jovanovic said.
According to his words, it is necessary to devote more attention to the education of children, so, the state authorities should make more effort in that sense. He also added that the arrests cannot be used in a fight against disinformation.