Last year, Facebook has blocked more than 800 fake accounts in Kyrgyzstan that were engaged in manipulation and disinformation. Elina Karakulova, Director of the Internews Representative Office, announced at the Central Asian Internet Governance Forum.
According to her, the maximum activity of the so-called troll farms was registered during the first wave of the pandemic, as well as during the parliamentary and presidential elections.
«In 2020, when the lockdown was introduced, Internews launched the MediaBlockPost project. The reason for this was the growth of misinformation and rumors about COVID-19. We were able to bring together those already involved in investigative journalism and fact-checking and provide rebuttals on time. We have passed the tests of elections and the conflict at the Kyrgyz-Tajik border, when official information was given with a delay and the number of rumors grew,» Elina Karakulova told.
According to her, the blocking of fake accounts is largely the merit of the journalists and staff of the media outlets, who were investigating the facts of their use.
«We managed to find out that the fake accounts are linked in groups and many of them supported not one, but several political forces during the elections. This suggests that the same troll farms were funded and were used by several candidates or parties,» the Director of the Internews Representative Office said.
She believes that in order to combat false information in Kyrgyzstan, it is necessary to further develop media literacy, as well as encourage professional journalism.