Google begins to fight fakes about Ukrainian refugees

Jigsaw, a Google subsidiary, is starting to crack down on misinformation about refugees from Ukraine in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia next week.

As tells Reuters, the aim of the campaign is to build resilience against narratives against Ukrainians fleeing war in Europe. Poland is chosen because of the large number of refugees there, while Slovakia and the Czech Republic are chosen as useful leaders for the rest of European countries. Beth Goldberg, head of research at Jigsaw, explains that this is a pilot project, the campaign can be scaled to other countries.

In collaboration with Jigsaw, psychologists from the universities of Cambridge and Bristol have created special 90-second videos that are designed to “vaccinate” society against harmful content on social networks. They will be shown in YouTube, Twitter, TikTok and Facebook ad units. The videos are meant to help people identify emotional manipulation and scapegoats in news headlines.

The campaign will run for a month. And Estonia, meanwhile, as he writes “European Truth”document a significant increase in fake news since the start of the war in Ukraine.

The Estonian police recognizes the growth in the spread of false news in the country, one of the main goals of which is the widespread supply of false information and the creation of all sorts of conflicts around the Ukrainians who arrived.

The ERR portal says that after the arrival of the first Ukrainian refugees in Estonia, fake news led to conflicts between pro-Russian residents of the country and citizens of Ukraine. Maarja Punaki, Communications Officer of the Police and Border Guard Board, says:

“Their number has increased significantly. Looking back, in late February and early March, we received a lot of false information about conflicts in which military refugees, Ukrainians and Russian-speaking residents of Estonia appeared, which did not correspond to reality. It was in March that we noticed the news which were not previously seen in our social networks. When it was May 9, they began to disseminate information in networks that did not correspond to reality. Now the situation is similar: if changes occur in Ukraine, this reaches our social networks. We also begin to disseminate information that affects people’s emotional state.

Maarja Punaki explained that the purpose of spreading fake information is to confuse and upset people in order to get them to do things that they would not do otherwise.

As Reuters reported earlier, Germany’s federal constitutional protection agency expects Russian propaganda and espionage to intensify in the coming months.



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