The initiative includes the launch of a unified platform for reporting cases of disinformation.
The State Chancellery believes that although Latvian society's understanding of disinformation has grown in recent years, there is still no shortage of those who believe in open propaganda, take refuge in conspiracy theories and closed social media groups, and easily fall into the traps of fraudsters.
With the launch of the "Black on White" project, the Internet platform "www.melnsuzbalta.lv" has been opened, where current information on cases of disinformation, its recognition and actions when encountering manipulative methods will be collected in one place. In addition, a unified platform has been created for the first time in Latvia, where, by filling out a special questionnaire, people can report cases of misinformation and other intentional manipulation.
The head of the State Chancellery's Strategic Communication Coordination Department, Rihards Bambals, stated that the situation with the spread of disinformation and manipulations has worsened recently as a result of aggressor countries trying to influence the information space, and by fraudsters who take advantage of the unstable situation in the world.
"The pressure is increasing, and we are already living in an information war. News headlines and active social media users can decide political decisions and create glamorous illusions that are often hard to distinguish from the truth. This approach is actively used by the aggressor countries to convince the surrounding world that there is no objective truth at all - only propaganda and manipulation. Currently, critical thinking and the ability to navigate the wide spectrum of information is an important basic skill of society for both personal and national security. Therefore, we invite you to stick to verifiable facts and data – as concrete and clear as black on white," said Bambals.
The project is also creating a series of podcasts and broadcasts, which will provide viewers and listeners with knowledge about the most commonly used methods of manipulation, how to recognize them, how to resist them and where to turn for help when reporting suspicious activities on social media platforms.
Podcast host Karmena Stepanova will be joined by different experts in each episode to look at what's happening in the newsroom. The episodes will be released once a week, and they can be found on the project website www.melnsuzbalta.lv, as well as on YouTube, Spotify and other popular streaming sites – whre, of course, there's also no shortage of disinformative material.
The World Media Literacy and Information Literacy Week runs until October 31, and during it a series of thematic events organized by the State Chancellery, the Baltic Center for Media Excellence, Latvian universities, libraries and other partners are taking place.
Global Media and Information Literacy Week is a UNESCO initiative that has been marked annually since 2011.