About ICS

The Institute of Communication Studies is a leading research organization in the field of journalism and media studies, public relations and corporate communications. Our mission is to contribute towards strengthening of Macedonian democracy by working with media, civil society and public institutions, educating a critical public that will ask for greater transparency and accountability through engagement in the policy creation process.


Spreading misinformation leads to hate speech

The satirical portal Kooperacija.mk recently published a satirical article that included a made-up statement by Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski, titled “We unfroze the prices because the citizens couldn’t entirely spend their increased salaries.”

Although the portal Kooperacija published this text under the hashtag Satire (#Satire), still some users of social networks share a post on Facebook which targets Kovacevski’s statement as if it were true.

Why is this problematic?

There are two critical issues with this. First, the spread of misinformation is problematic, i.e., that the statement of Prime Minister Kovacevski is true, but it is not. The Kooperacija portal clearly states that its contents are part of the “Satire” category.

Second, the dissemination of such information with the indication that it is true leads to hate speech and offensive speech, as can be seen from reading some of the comments on the Facebook post.

The Reporting Diversity Network 2.0, and ICS as a member, believe that such content sharing is detrimental to public discourse and can lead to harmful consequences in society due to hate speech.

This article was produced based on the media monitoring done by the Reporting Diversity Network 2.0, with the financial support of the European Union, Balkan Trust for Democracy, a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade.