Fabricated statements of officials – A common means of disinforming the public 

Statements by world officials, political leaders, representatives of large corporations, or public figures known beyond the borders of their respective states have a significant impact on the public, depending on current global events and the political or social context in which they exist.  

If they carry a sensationalist tone, their potential impact becomes even greater. Using clickbait headlines, they manage to attract even the most discerning readers or viewers to become consumers of such content. 

The main problem, though, is that it is not always easy for the average reader to determine when and where these statements were made, in what context, and, most importantly – whether they are reported accurately and truly.  

We pointed out many of them, even banal ones, in the previous period, warning our readers that these are fabricated statements. One such statement was credited to Pope Frances, who allegedly said that the plans of Klaus Schwab, the leader of the World Economic Forum, were more valuable than Christianity itself. We checked these claims and came to the conclusion that the pope never made such a statement. 

The Israel-Palestine conflict has proven to be an ideal ground for the spread of manipulative and inaccurate statements. We have come across claims such as “Putin confirmed sending troops to Palestine,” “Support for Palestine whenever it needs and requests” – these words attributed to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and “We will defend Palestine at any cost,” allegedly said by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. All these statements have one thing in common – they are made up. 

And then, of course, there is also U.S. President Joe Biden, for whom, if you get information through social networks, you have to check at least twice whether he really said something, bearing in mind the frequency of fabrication of his statements. “Conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East will turn into America’s progress,” reads the quote that some regional marginal portals reported on “Biden’s worldviews.” However, the American president did not say such a thing. The statement was taken out of context. In the same category, we can include the statement by Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov, falsely claiming that Europe wants a part of Russia, and the statement by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg that the “NATO forces weapon stocks are depleted to zero.” All of these statements earned the rating – manipulation of facts. 

Disinformers have not neglected Montenegrin affairs either, fabricating a statement by the Vice President of the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) and former mayor of Podgorica, Ivan Vukovic, in which he allegedly said that the census should not be boycotted. Similarly, leaders of the coalition For the Future of Montenegro, Andrija Mandic and Milan Knezevic, were falsely depicted as stating that they would declare themselves as Montenegrins in the census. 

One thing is certain: This type of disinformation can influence citizens’ opinions and conclusions. Without time or knowledge about tools to verify the information constantly being presented to them, they may share dubious content, making it more accessible to a broader audience.