News Portals and Social Media Under Scrutiny

30.03.2022 Instituti D4D

According to the latest report for 2021 from the Kosovo Agency of Statistics (KAS) on the use of Information and Communication Technology, in Kosovo, 96.1% of households have access to the Internet at home or in apartment, where the frequency of Internet use several times during the day it was 80% [1]. This in fact reflects the distribution of information in record time to the majority of the population, specifically to persons aged 16-74 years. It is essential that the dissemination of information is done fairly and without the content of erroneous or partial information. Also, the use of offensive, harsh and sexist language should be avoided. In fact, misinformation and dissemination of news with irregular content is done largely by various portals which operate in Kosovo, but also by individuals in various fields whether journalists or representatives of political entities who have a great influence on certain groups.

Seeing a large number of news items with such characteristics and in order to identify them, the D4D Institute has monitored the official election campaign for the local elections which were held on October 17, 2021, as well as the election campaign period for the second round. during the runoff that took place from 8 to 12 November. This includes monitoring categories such as political divisions and harsh language, misogyny and sexist language as well as external influence.

In addition to the election campaign, part of this research included the last three months of 2021 (October, November, December) where articles related to the Special Court, the Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue and Covid-19 were analyzed. The purpose of this report is to identify news that have aimed at misinforming citizens as well as inciting hatred for different individuals or groups, as well as familiarizing the public with the terms misinformation and verification of news. This report also contains recommendations which are addressed to online media, political entities, journalists and citizens.