Group set up to prevent misinformation campaigns prior to election

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Latvia's top-level government has set up a coordination group to prevent media space misinformation campaigns prior to the October 6, 2018 Saeima election, reports LTV's De Facto.

The group includes representatives from all the country's ministries, the Constitution Protection Bureau, and the Security Police. It is intended to facilitate coordination and exchange of information to counter potential misinformation campaigns disseminated in Latvia's media space prior to the parliamentary election. 

Guna Šnore, a top-level strategical communications adviser to the Prime Minister, has been tasked to head the group. It won't require extra money, or make public employees work longer hours, she says. There will simply be extra emphasis on working on social networks and search engines. 

De Facto reports that Facebook has set up a team that will observe Latvia's parliamentary election. Likewise, risks are seen over possible manipulation of Google search engine results.

Experts say that the greatest risk is posed by a potential campaign to discredit the election process.

The Rīga-based NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence told LTV more about this potential scenario.

"Opposing [this scenario] would require cooperation between the Central Election Committee, Security Police, and involvement of the Facebook platform--where such a campaign is most likely to be carried out--which would [tell users] the campaign had been organized and then suppress the spread of this information," said the startcom's head Jānis Sārts. 

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