By working together we can fight disinformation says KRRiT head

Świrski proposed, in cooperation with the Polish Press Agency, "using the Polish website Fake Hunter as a platform for exchanging information on disinformation campaigns and refuting false narratives." Radek Pietruszka/PAP

The chairman of Poland’s National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT) has said that sharing best practices and coordinating efforts can lead to a comprehensive strategy for dealing with the challenge of disinformation.

Maciej Świrski made the statement in a speech before Wednesday's 'Anti-Disinformation Warsaw Summit' which was organised by KRRiT at Warsaw's Royal Castle.

He added that "disinformation in Central and Eastern Europe is a problem that cannot be ignored", and currently, these countries "are particularly vulnerable to disinformation created by Russia."

"In my opinion, Russian measures actively used against Poland and your countries are aimed at undermining the foundations of statehood in order to make our countries easy prey for Russian imperialism," he said. "As we know, qualitatively similar actions took place before Russia's aggression against Ukraine in 2022. Experience and observation teach us that Putin announces what he will do," he said, addressing audio-visual regulators from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Baltic countries.

Świrski proposed, in cooperation with the Polish Press Agency, "using the Polish website Fake Hunter as a platform for exchanging information on disinformation campaigns and refuting false narratives."

"This service can be customised to the needs of each country," he said. "We should create national contact points that will enable us to quickly receive and transmit information about spreading disinformation campaigns and provide the necessary knowledge to the platform that we will use to correct false messages. Thanks to this, we will be able to quickly act together against the actions orchestrated by the Kremlin and its supporters, destroying our communities, trust in governments and allies, and destroying the good name of our nations."

According to Świrski, in order to "effectively combat the growing threat of disinformation in the Central and Eastern European region", cooperation between "regulatory authorities of the audio-visual sector in our countries is needed.

"By working together, sharing resources and expertise, regulators can strengthen their ability to identify and counter disinformation campaigns," he said. "Through cooperation, transparency and the implementation of strong regulatory measures, we can build a more resilient CEE region that unites against disinformation and its harmful effects. By sharing best practices and coordinating efforts, we can develop a comprehensive strategy to deal with the challenge of disinformation."

The KRRiT chairman also said the CEE countries should "invest in programmes and initiatives related to media literacy."

"By educating our citizens about the techniques and tactics used in disinformation campaigns, we can enable them to critically evaluate the messages they consume and make informed decisions based on credible sources," he said.

"Additionally, it is crucial to support partnerships with media organisations, civil society and technology companies in order to develop effective strategies for countering disinformation. It is also necessary to cooperate with media corporations and with the market that we regulate, so that cases of reproducing Russian disinformation do not repeat."

Świrski concluded that "to achieve resilience against Russian disinformation, we must take several key steps."

These include strengthening media literacy and critical thinking, strengthening cross-border cooperation, improving the regulatory framework, promoting ethical journalism and effectively communicating activities to the public.

"I propose to establish a joint information newsletter for our project, which would send once a month information about activities countering Russian disinformation or about Russian disinformation recognised by our countries. The bulletin would be distributed to key editorial offices and journalists around the world interested in the topic through the Polish Press Agency to other agencies in the region and to other media in Europe and around the world."

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