"Education most effective way to fight fake news"

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic was participating on Monday at the Web Summit in Lisbon.

Source: srbija.gov.rs
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(Tanjug)
(Tanjug)

According to Forbes, this is the world's best technology conference with more than 70,000 participants, the Serbian government said.

At this gathering, where directors and founders of technology companies, start-ups, representatives of governments, international institutions and media participate, Brnabic is representing Serbia in two panels.

The Prime Minister spoke at the panel on false news, together with Executive Director of Mozilla Mitchell Baker and Director of the Guardian Media Group David Pemsel. Matthew Garahan from the Financial Times was moderator at the panel.

Brnabic pointed out that false news, alternative facts and the post-truth phenomenon are not new, but that in today's world, just because of the Internet, smart phones and social networks, it is spreading much easier, faster and more efficiently.

She recalled one of Churchill's quotes that “a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on”, and stressed that in today's world the truth has not "yet been awakened" and false news has already been spread all over the world.

According to Brnabic, what is the biggest problem with false news is that they create an atmosphere of mistrust and polarise societies.

In a conversation with panel participants, the Prime Minister said that the great challenge of false news is that they have the greatest impact on creating a feeling of mistrust among young people, who have no faith in any idea, or because of that they feel part of society.

With fake news, we will best deal with investing in education, and that's why Serbia invests in changing the concept of education - let's teach young people how to think, not what to think, Brnabic said.

She said that the main mechanisms for the fight against false news, in addition to education, and analytical thinking, encouraged young people to question information and various authorities, creative industries, innovation, science, research and development.

Brnabic pointed out that the government's task is to provide timely and accurate information to prevent speculation, and added that false news would make governments more resilient and transparent.

All participants in the Lisbon meeting agreed that false news is a modern challenge for democracy.

Later during the day, the Prime Minister will talk about the challenges and results that Serbia has achieved in the field of the development of technology and creative industries and the potentials of new technologies for economic development.

The participants and speakers of the Web Summit in Lisbon are United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Microsoft's President Brad Smith, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, Vice President of Apple Lisa Jackson, Founder of Pinterest Ben Silberman, Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and many others.

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