On June 11, Transparency International Georgia released a public opinion survey on the state of media in Georgia. According to the survey, 26% of respondents say that the government “always” interferes in the work of media, while 45% think the authorities are doing so “sometimes.” These results, the watchdog said, are similar to that of the last year.
The opinion poll revealed that 53% of interviewed persons have heard of the Facebook pages that were created in order to spread fake news, which, TI Georgia noted, is a 17% increase compared to last year’s survey.
70% of those, who have heard about these Facebook pages, were also aware that the pages have been removed. 15% and 14% consider that opposition and government stand behind these fake news pages, respectively; 18% named both, while 46% said they did not know.
The CSO noted that “fighting disinformation on social media is one of the biggest challenges” especially ahead of October 2020 parliamentary polls “when political forces, including most actively by the ruling party, use fake pages to discredit their opponents and other subjects.”
Moreover, 50% of the interviewed persons said government’s harassment of media representatives who are critical to them is very common (11%) and more common (39%).
- May 2020: Facebook Removes Hundreds of Inauthentic Pages, Accounts in Georgia
- December 2019: Facebook Removes Hundreds of Georgia Govt Linked Pages for ‘Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior’