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Liliana Vițu: Problematic media content migrated to online

When the Audiovisual Council started to impose heavy fines for disinformation, the problematic content migrated to online. According to the Council’s head Liliana Vițu, the lack of regulations for the online space is a problem and this topic is now being discussed at the level of European countries as well. Moldova has obtained the status of observer country within the entities regulating the information space in the European Union, IPN reports.

The head of the Audiovisual Council noted that misinformation and fake news have practically disappeared from TV and radio stations since the institution imposes heavy fines for non-compliance with the article aimed at ensuring correct information. However, the information space still abounds with manipulative news as problematic media content migrated to online.

“When the definition of misinformation and heavy fines of minimum 40,000 lei were introduced in the Code (Code of Audiovisual Media Services, e.n.), we noticed that the problematic content disappeared. It migrated to online because the online space is not regulated and there is no Audiovisual Council for the online space to impose fines. The bottom line is that when there is an authority, regulations, provisions and they all work, the situation can change. In 2023, we had by 70 fewer penalties over Article 13, which provides for ensuring correct information,” Liliana Vițu stated in the program “The Shadow Cabinet” on JurnalTV.

She noted that the possibility of regulating the online space is being analyzed at EU level and Moldova is part of this process, for now, as an observer.

“The Audiovisual Council has become a member of the regulatory authorities of European countries. We obtained the status of observer country, by virtue of the status of EU accession candidate. We have been present there since October last year. We have already attended several working sessions. They are now discussing how to regulate the activity of influencers, the activity of vloggers, the criteria by which these could enter the regulatory space. For example, the number of followers. If a person has an audience of one million, this is higher than the audience of a station. So, why should a station be subject to quite drastic regulations and someone else who has a similar influence should remain outside the regulations?”, Liliana Vițu also said.

According to the latest public opinion poll conducted by WatchDog Community and CBS Research, when asked how often they get information from the enumerated sources, 39.8% of the respondents said they get information daily from Facebook, while 33.1% said they daily get informed from Youtube.

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