27 January 2018
While regulators around the world rail against the spread of misinformation online and take steps to stamp it out, Mr Mirko Ceselkoski — a 37-year-old Macedonian partly responsible for the rise of fake news — remains nonchalant and unapologetic.
Describing himself as a marketing consultant, Mr Ceselkoski is a successful and prominent “clickbait coach” in the Macedonian town of Veles, which has been dubbed the fake news capital of the world. TODAY reached out to him via email, and he was quick to respond, agreeing to a Skype interview.
… Apart from commercial motivations, fake news is often perpetuated by political agendas — and this may be where any proposed regulation hits its largest roadblock, said experts interviewed by TODAY.
“It is very difficult to prove that any foreign power has orchestrated a disinformation campaign, especially when the attacking state uses proxy forces, such as paid content creators,” said Dr Gulizar Haciyakupoglu, a research fellow from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies’ (RSIS) Cyber and Homeland Defence Programme.
… “But unless you are very confident of the source, it’s politically dangerous to point fingers,” added Mr Benjamin Ang, a senior fellow at the same programme.
… RSIS associate research fellow Eugene Tan, who specialises in cyberspace security and Singapore’s foreign policy, said combating fake news “takes more than just legislation, fact-checking, and education”. He said: “First, the government must be transparent with citizens. Second, the media must value investigative journalism and report, rather than spin, the truth. Third, we as society need to be more aware of what is happening around us and not become pawns in the game of ambition.”
CENS / Online
Last updated on 30/01/2018