The elections are coming, what to do

Samvel Martirosyan

Media researcher

In April the elections are expected in Armenia. And the qualifying rounds have already begun, new parties have opened up, old and new political figures are appearing, who, naturally, have to ensure a positive perception among the general public. Which means that Armenia’s field of information will heat up.

The situation is already heating up, which means that the average citizen, in turn, must be prepared for what is coming ahead.

What to expect in the coming months

a) In social networks there will be a large amount of fake accounts, which are directed by political forces. The fake accounts will never cease, but their total mass has quite a fluctuating nature. Their numbers have significantly declined throughout this year.

A sharp growth was noted during the July-August crisis, and later their numbers again declined. Again in the near future we should expect a sharp increase in fake account groups. Moreover, this time, in all likelihood, all of the political forces will already be using them.

b) New types of internet media will appear, which will work in the same way as the fake account groups: they will spread misinformation, they will try to establish a negative emotional field of various individuals or parties, spreading information bombs, etc.

c) Half-asleep informational platforms will awaken, which have already been used during the previous elections and later will again fall asleep.

d) The Armenian soil will bear many experts and political analysts in the coming months.

What to do with all of this

a) Stop becoming friends with every stranger on social networks. But this is still not all of it. You do not have to automatically accept the scandalous, pompous statuses of strangers, or even their comments. Moreover, it is not worth it to immediately share every stranger’s post without reading the details or verifying them.

b) Always look to see what the source is behind the spreaded news. It will not be news, that you have found it on the “internet” or on “Facebook.” Every article has a concrete source and a concrete author. If the article’s content is important, then open the website, explore the “About us” section. If it is empty or if the content is fluttering from a coma, then this is already a reason to suspect that you are reading a propaganda source.

Sadly, many times a lot of “normal” media also do not “normally” fill their “About us” section. For that reason it is worth to proceed to that specific site’s newsletter. Often in the case of propaganda websites, just by looking at the newsletter it is already apparent that not everything is as it seems, they mostly steal articles from different websites, they will write either very bad or very good articles about the same person or party.

c) Before sharing information, many will not look into the details very much, no matter how much you plead. But it is not worth it to share an article after only reading the title. Moreover, the material should be carefully read and you must be convinced that it was referenced by an accepted source, which is clear and verifiable, not incomprehensible, unfamiliar, or abstract.

d) Remember, that if a person’s media has named them an expert or politician, that means only one thing: that they are presenting that person in that way. The title of expert should not be a guarantee of trust in what that person is saying. Glasses are not a symbol of a great mind.

These rules will filter out some of the propaganda. Of course, this does not guarantee 100 per cent filtration. But it will allow you to clean the first level of the information field of political propaganda.

Samvel Martirosyan

The views expressed in the column are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Media.am.

Add new comment

Comments by Media.am readers become public after moderation. We urge our readers not to leave anonymous comments. It’s always nice to know with whom one is speaking.

We do not publish comments that contain profanities, non-normative lexicon, personal attacks or threats. We do not publish comments that spread hate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *