Media Advocacy Coalition reacts to Facebook report


The Media Advocacy Coalition is responding to a report by social network company Meta (Facebook) that accounts linked to the Government's Strategic Communications Department were involved in spreading false and discrediting information.

 

According to the report for the first quarter of 2023, fake accounts linked to the government's Strategic Communications Department sought to promote a pro-government narrative and discredit the opposition and NGOs. These actions took place during the discussions on the "Russian Law" bill. 80 fake accounts, 26 pages, 9 groups and 2 Instagram pages linked to the government department were removed for coordinated inauthentic behaviour. It is also worth noting that approximately $33,500 was spent on Facebook and Instagram ads.

 

The aforementioned report confirms information from open sources, which previously raised suspicions that administrative resources are often used for party purposes rather than in the public interest. The ruling party encourages polarisation and creates distrust in democratic institutions, further deepening the existing polarisation in the country. This is against a backdrop of serious challenges to the media environment, involving politically motivated cases, violence, boycotts, illegal surveillance, etc. Instead of actively addressing real threats, the government itself is engaged in domestic propaganda, violating the rights of journalists and discrediting opponents.

 

The Media Advocacy Coalition calls on the authorities to immediately stop the domestic disinformation campaign, protect media rights and create safe working conditions and a pluralistic environment.