After adoption of the Law on Freedom of Religion of Belief, a campaign of spreading me dia manipulation was launched in the media space, where the opinion of the citizens of Montenegro is created.
Since October 2018, when we began to work on the project of fact-checking the media content – Raskrinkavanje.me, this was the fourth major cycle of “bombardment” with disinformation.
The first trigger was a harmless event in a court in Kotor after which Sara Vidak was arrested in 2018, the second one were the events surrounding the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Irinej Gavrilovic, being barred from entering Montenegro, and then unexpectedly – this sport turned into media hysteria during the 2019 ABA League Finals.
In January 2020, media manipulations were, according to the established model, set in two directions. The first general one, was aimed at questioning the values of Western democracies, Montenegro’s membership in NATO, the existence of Montenegro as a state, the existence of the Montenegrin nation, the civil society.
All this was accompanied by the spread of known false narratives, innumerable chauvinistic messages, hate speech, insults and the like.
The second one was contributing to the “debate” and the Law on Freedom of Religion or Belief. This level of mani pulations was aimed at provoking and intensifying tensions and hindering dialogue, i.e. any possibility for key actors to overcome this conflict in a democratic and enlightened manner.