The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) and the Council for Ethics in the Media of Macedonia (CEMM) will submit a report today to the Department for Computer Crime and Digital Forensics at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, following reports received from colleagues.
In particular, we are talking about an announcement on the Kanal 5 website from September 17, with the title “Nervous man from Arachinovo stabbed two residents of the municipality of Aerodrom and tried to run over a group of people!”, which was then forwarded to the Facebook page of this television, with the comment: “Albanophobia” again, and now by the PPO?”. A large number of comments were shared on this post, some of them with inappropriate vocabulary and content that encourages hate speech and ethnic discrimination.
As journalists and media organizations, we strongly condemn all comments that call for violence and stigmatize an entire ethnic community.
Some comments are: “rope savage tribe”… “Who are these savages, but we have ourselves to blame… one society for everyone???”… “they are so limited in their brains” “… етc.
AJM and CEMM asked the Ministry of the Interior to investigate the threatening messages carefully. For those profiles that are known by the investigative authorities, the users should be called for questioning and appropriate measures should be taken against them.
We remind you that the Basic Criminal Court already has a positive case law with suspended prison sentences for perpetrators who have previously published threatening messages on the Facebook social network, following previous reports by АЈМ.
At the same time, we point out that it is the ethical and legal obligation of every professional media to be careful how it informs, especially about topics that can easily encourage intolerance and discrimination. Otherwise, the media can cause hate speech and ethnic intolerance, and this can lead to other hate crimes.
We also point out that the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has case law according to which the media is responsible for the content of comments published under the text of the relevant article (Delphi AC v. Estonia).