On 1 June the Metamorphosis Foundation organized a conference titled “Dealing with disinformation in the Republic of North Macedonia”. FN Project Manager Rosana Aleksoska was one of the speaker at the first working session, where results from the researches and the work of the CMEM, Prespa Institute, Metamorphosis and Fighting False News Narratives – FN were presented. In her expose Aleksoska elaborated on the mechanisms of influence through disinformation with a specific focus on the disinformation narratives as well as the necessity to track, monitor and analyse the disinformation from time perspective and the aim that such disinformation narratives strive to accomplish.

Our work or more precisely our focus is the on the disinformation narrative. We can define the disinformation narrative as an array of incorrect or partially correct articles or information that after a certain period form one chronological whole. Therefore, our recommendation is that the disinformation should not be analysed partially, but we should always ask what the final aim of this disinformation and which narrative is does it belong to. – Aleksoska

Additionally, Aleksoska touched upon the concept that contribute toward the formation of the wrong social context i.e. misperceptions, misconceptions and misbeliefs, underlining that those represent the very solid ground for the Russian influence in North Macedonia. Within her expose Aleksoska elaborated the reasons due to which the society is susceptible to Russian influence.

This means that we speak about disinformation in my expose, I am not talking only about the disinformation that derive from the media or social networks but rather than that I am speaking about the social context. The second reason for the misperceptions, misbeliefs and misconceptions are the information distortions. - Aleksoska

Aleksoska also added that

The situation is not simple, it is rather complex, so when we talk about influence and combating disinformation, we need to take into consideration the social context, the time frame because as stronger the 3: Misconceptions, Misperceptions and Misbeliefs get, the bigger the influence of the disinformation is, and vice versa, the more disinformation in the information space, firmer the misconceptions, misperceptions and misbeliefs are.

At the end Aleksoska concluded that defending the Euro-Atlantic values and processes in North Macedonia should be done with a clearly expressed political will, strategically and in an open manner.

This cyclic movement must be put to an end, i.e. that spiral should be stopped, this requires a whole of a society approach, first of all strong political will from all political parties and policy makers, and clear articulation from all stakeholders on who is the aggressor and who is the brutal liar, together with awareness raising of the public on the democratic values and principles, consistent and continuous defence of country’s Euro-Atlantic actions and aspirations, which are overwhelmingly supported by our citizens. In other words, what I would like to point out today is that maybe we should start to address the roots of the problem, and not just to treat the consequences. – Aleksoska concluded

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