ROMEA TV program discusses current COVID-19 disinformation and hoaxes on the Czech Internet
The latest episode of the TRIN program on ROMEA TV discusses the disinformation circulating on the Czech Internet, some but not all of it about COVID-19. Some familiar hoaxes are claiming that Romani people don't have to pay for prescription medicines (or for swimming pool access), while others are newly alleging, falsely, that the Pirate Party wants to curtail health care for senior citizens, or that a certain parasite has been found in the respirators that are now required in certain settings.
All of these hoaxes are currently spreading through Czech social media with the force of an avalanche. The guests on the TRIN program are Janusz Konieczny, analyst with the Czech Pirate Party, and Zdeněk Ryšavý, director of the ROMEA public benefit corporation, which runs the Romea.cz news server and ROMEA TV.
Both guests have long been involved in tracking such disinformation and hoaxes. "We can explain to people that they should check the sources of the information they see online until we are blue in the face, but it's not enough. In some situations we have to intervene. When we do so, those whose posts we have removed will accuse us of censorship. Is this censorship, or is it self-defense?" Ryšavý asks during the discussion.
Members of the Pirate Party frequently call out disinformation and have also become a target of it themselves in recent months, which Konieczny believes is likely to be a result of the party's success in the polls ahead of the autumn elections to the lower house. "I believe some measures could help us limit disinformation, for example, social media platforms should do a better job when it comes to cooperating with the police and prosecutors," the Pirate Party analyst says on the program.
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