​Gorshenin Institute, LB.ua call on Ukrainian journalists to protect information space

19.02.2015

Ukraine is now actively counteracting foreign military aggression, with our soldiers bravely defending the country on the battlefields. However, Ukraine is also facing information aggression, on which the aggressor is spending huge resources. This information war is no less fierce than shelling and tank attacks on the battlefields.

The aggressor state is employing various tools of information and propaganda warfare, including online media. The number of online "bots" who leave their provocative comments on Ukrainian websites is unprecedented. By posting their comments, they are sowing panic in society, inciting ethnic conflicts, discrediting the Ukrainian government, and injecting misleading information of military and political nature.

A year ago, we decided to disable comments on any posts on the news and analysis portal LB.ua, a project by Gorshenin Institute. It became apparent to us that the comments option on the website had lost its original meaning, i.e. a free exchange of views among the readers that would complement the contents of each text. At first, the editors feared that it would affect the website traffic, but we have managed to keep our audience. However, our materials can be discussed on social networks by a focused audience.

We are calling on all Ukrainian online media to temporarily disable comments on their materials for the period of war. This way we will to a certain extent protect our information space from aggressive information and propaganda.

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