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Maribor – PIP Institute – Legal and Information Center Maribor in collaboration with the University of Maribor and the European Commission in Slovenia, one month before the European elections, held a public debate discussing fake news as a threat to European democracy. According to the Head of the European Commission Representation in Slovenia Jerneja Jug Jerše, facts are crucial for decision-making.

“European democracy is not to be taken for granted. We must protect it from those who want to undermine its credibility, sow doubt in our institutions, and with disinformation blur the line between truth and falsehood,” said Jug Jerše. According to her, this is especially important before the June elections in the European Parliament.

Rector of the University of Maribor Zdravko Kačič reminded that the deliberate spreading of false information is not a new phenomenon, but today it has seen new growth with the development of technology, online tools, and social networks. “The right to freedom of expression does not simultaneously mean the right to spread lies,” he emphasized.

Editor and journalist of commercial television POP TV Alenka Marovt pointed out the difficulty of fighting against fake information. “A fake news story can be denied multiple times, corrected multiple times, but often the most compelling story heard is the lie because it is convincing, simple, stirs up emotions and therefore remains viral,” she said.

A large part of the blame for the spread of fake news is attributed to politics, agreed the assistant in the Department of Psychology at Maribor’s Faculty of Arts Nejc Plohl. (May 6th)