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VIDEO | Petreski: The consequences of spreading false news can be terrible - well-developed disinformation channels established for political reasons have penetrated into Macedonia

Truthometer was established 10 years ago as a portal for public accountability and transparency. We work to make politicians, public officials and institutions as accountable and transparent as possible. We are checking the fulfillment of the promise of the political parties. We assess the statements of politicians whether they are true and false and assess whether there are spins in the statements of politicians and public officials. Another component of Vistonomer is fact checking. We have our methodology, but sometimes it comes from our partners, said in the morning briefing Vladimir Petreski, editor-in-chief of "Truthometer".

Since August last year, Truthometer and the Metamorphosis Foundation, which is the publisher of the portal, have an agreement with Facebook to check the contents of Facebook on the territory of Macedonia and the users from the country. When it comes to content here it can be video, status, personal status if it is public. There are four types of status. Very private, only for friends, only for friends and friends of friends and can be public. We only check public statuses as well as statuses from groups and pages that are public. So messages, statuses that are private are not evaluated. According to this methodology - the two main criteria are what we check to be viral, widespread and the second important criterion is the level of damage. It may not be viral, but if you have a status that says: Covid's remedy is to drink a glass of brandy three times a day with some herbs and so on every day. Such a status can cause serious harm to some people who can not tolerate alcohol every day, plus some herbs that are not a drug, is not approved by the Drug Agency. Such a status can cause serious damage and is at the top of our interests, says Petreski.

We check verifiable facts, what can be checked, what can not we do not check. When truth is told, it means verifiable facts. We do not check religious, spiritual truths, personal truths, cosmic truths. We do not deal with such things. Once we suspect that something may be untrue, we do all the journalistic checks. The only difference between us and the classic journalistic work is that we do this after the publication, says Petreski and adds that a review must be written.

We have to justify it with arguments, reviews. The only thing we can do after that is to give a grade and that's where our work ends. We can judge this is untrue, partially untrue. We also evaluate forged content, fake signature, forged photos…

Watch the whole conversation in the video:

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