People became more critical to any news – Founder of the Stopfake Project


Kyiv, August 6 2014. Russian media are focused on identification and refutation of fake news by Ukrainian media, but even those “investigations” are false, said Margo Gontar, co-founder and project editor of StopFake at the press briefing in Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

StopFake already operates for 22 weeks, and has more than 100.000 subscribers in social networks, told Margo Gontar. She explained that the recipe for success is the quick and objective reflection of information, and that is why the project is so popular even among the Russian audience. The activist noted the valuable role of volunteers and told she soon expects to cooperate with the Ukrainian government. “In fact, volunteers are fighting against the [Russian] state, and it is rather difficult”.

The 20th edition of the “StopFake News” was screened during the press briefing. The video featured false reports, which were widely circulated in Russian media environment last week. In particular, the video featured a fabricated appeal by the journalist Bogdan Butkevych, where he allegedly called “to annihilate all the useless people;” also distorted statements by the Russian UN representative Churkin and a fake interview with a Ukrainian pilot who “shot down” MH17, etc.

Margo Gontar noted that due to the growth of Ukraine’s Internet community, Russian media had to adjust their rhetoric and focuse more on fighting fake reports. “We are the enemy, which Russia reacts on; therefore we cannot say that Ukraine looses the information war.” In addition, the quality of performance of Ukrainian media has significantly increased. “People became more critical to any news”, she stated.

Margo Gontar said that citizens in the ATO zone have difficulties perceiving information provided by Ukrainian media, for many reasons, including the language barrier. Therefore it is necessary to broadcast programs for the residents of eastern Ukraine in Russian.