Posted in fact checking, fake news

When lies become weapons : the “StopFake.org” battle

That’s all for this week.
Be vigilant, beware on fakes and if you spot any disinformation about Ukraine send it to us for a truth autopsy.
Remember, consuming fake news is bad for your health, your brain and for the psychological climate of society.
Be fake free, my friends.

The person who is saying these words is a mustached middle aged man and if you recognize his face and his voice you are probably not scared by his warning tone because you are used to this.
On the other hand if you don’t know him and what “StopFake.org” is don’t worry, it is just because you don’t live in Ukraine in 2017.

As you know, Ukraine is nowadays a war-field.
The conflict began with the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014 and it provoked a huge number of victims, from both the formations.

It is an unusual form of conflict.
In fact not only military and policy are the main players, but also media. For this reason this conflict is called “hybrid war“.

 

stopfakenws

 

As History teaches us, the fact that a government can lie is not new.
But this time the lie did not need to hide the use of weapons: it had become a weapon itself.
Lies have become the most strategic and difficult weapon to deal with.

Therefore in 2014 a group of students and professors of Kiev Mohyla University’s journalism faculty launched the first site to directly hinder Russian propaganda: StopFake.org.

The aim of the website is to have a space where to counterbalance Russian lies and where to”refute disinformation and propaganda about events in Ukraine“.

In this way StopFake has revealed several fake news through a weekly TB bulleting and an active web site (which is avaible in 10 different languages).

Just a few examples of what StopFake.org does everyday:

  • There was an image of an Ukrainian soldier snapping the arms and the legs to a pro-Russia militant and StopFake explained that it was a picture shoot in a set of a Russian horror film of few years before. [For the Italian friends, Marta Franca of “Movimento 5 stelle” spoke about this picture during her speech in the “Camera dei Deputati” reporting the inhumane Ukrainan violence].
  • On the Russian “channel one” on July 12th  it was shown as some Ukrainian soldiers had crucified a boy, after murder his mother.
    In this case StopFake has revealed as Galina Pyshniak, the woman interviewed by the Russian Channel reporting this fact, had already compared in other Russian propaganda videos with other names because she is an actress.
  • Russian Defense Ministry television channel Zvezda declared few days ago that Ukraine has no money to conduct the 2017 Eurovision song contest and the Ukrainian website clarifies why this sentence is wrong.

StopFake.org also has an educational purpose: give to the readers the possibility to learn themselves how to  how to recognise fake news( How to verify YouTube videoshow to report fake news to social media, how Fake Stories Reported in Russia’s News Media Regularly Fool Everyone), in order to live better.

Moscow has itself often been accused of using propaganda and false information not only in reporting the conflict in Ukraine but also to influence the US presidential election..

 

 

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Author:

21 years old, SSU Journalism (exchange) student

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