Boyan Tomov: Legislative measures are needed to fight fake news
The founder of TheMayor.EU believes that they are the pandemic of the 21st century
- March 26, 2020 13:00
A legislative battle against fake news is needed as they can be the cause of major crises. This was the statement made by Boyan Tomov, Bulgarian media publisher and Founder of TheMayor.EU, the European Portal for Cities and Citizens, owner of the website kmeta.bg and the publisher of Economy Magazine and Economic.bg in an interview with FOCUS radio.
Much-needed regulation against fake news
"In my opinion and according to colleagues and experts I have talked to, a non-governmental body must be established to work out specific measures that will then work as a regulator monitoring the compliance with those measures. Because no matter who is in power, no matter what happens, what processes are taking place in a country, the fake news, the fake websites will always hurt people", he continued.
Tomov explained that the work of this body should not be limited to the times of a crisis, but must be permanent.
“Imagine if today someone releases the news that a drug can either cure coronavirus, or protect you from coronavirus, that you will not catch COVID-19 and be healthy, and stay alive, thanks to it. Everyone will buy this medicine. Meanwhile, this same medicine actually helps you get infected faster. What do we do then and how do we regulate this? That's the problem" Tomov explained.
In this situation of unprecedented crisis, of a semi-closed state, a semi-closed world, adequate media behaviour is crucial. "However, the big problem, which is global and not just for Bulgaria, is the fake news, the fake websites," he added. According to him, the media that spread fake news can lead to the exacerbation of crisis situations, both for people's health and the economy. "This is the great pandemic of the 21st century".
Difficult times to distinguish between fact and fiction
With news overwhelming us and with new information constantly revealing itself, it is very difficult for people to figure out what is true and what is not. In his words, it is the right moment for regulation against fake news to be considered at the European level: "It may be high time for the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Union and European authorities to also think about a methodology", Tomov suggested.
"Some might exclaim, 'Free speech!?' - I have nothing against free speech. I am against the methodology, as in a fake website that can be run by one or two people sitting and writing whatever they want, what they think and thus mislead people. They do not pay salaries, they do not pay taxes, they do not pay insurance, they do not hire people. This is harmful to the public in terms of information as well as in terms of the economic situation" concluded Tomov.
Read the full interview at Focus-News.net (in Bulgarian).
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