Raskrinkavanje.me: World Disinformation Forum 

Davos, an idyllic resort nestled in the Swiss Alps, is mainly visited by tourists who enjoy the natural beauties of the place. Yet, for one week every January, it becomes the center of global attention.  

During that time, it transforms into a stage for political leaders, businesspersons, and experts from various fields participating in the annual gathering and conference of the World Economic Forum (WEF). 

Once a year, the political and economic elite summarize the world’s key challenges, proposing pathways forward.  

While there is a public debate about whether the conference is just a lot of empty talk in a full room, whether the event is relevant, and how much it actually contributes to solving acute problems of the global population, for the steadfast “guardians of truth,” it holds profound significance. 

In essence, the WEF conference triggers a wave of disinformation every year.  

The prelude to numerous disinformation campaigns was the claim that 5,000 Swiss soldiers were securing “devils in Devilos,” although it has been pointed out before that this is a manipulation of facts and conspiracy theory. Considering the profile of the participants, the event is treated as a high-risk occasion. The Swiss parliament greenlit the deployment of up to five thousand troops from 2022 to 2024. The fact is that the official data was misrepresented, serving as fuel for insinuations about what actually happens behind the scenes in “Devilos.” 

Messages from officials alternated on the Davos stage, many of them manipulatively interpreted.  

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s call for increased armament in Ukraine for a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict was heard by our “guardians of truth” as advocating for war prolongation. 

The regional media also echoed a misreported statement from Montenegro’s Prime Minister, Milojko Spajic, who represented Montenegro at the WEF conference. Although Spajic spoke about Montenegro’s future economic development, which will involve less dependence on markets outside the European Union, his words were interpreted as an intention to “drive the Russians away” and that “a lot has been done to have fewer Russian tourists”. 

Local and regional media overlooked and published a completely fabricated speech delivered by satirist Damon Imani. Using artful editing, Imani managed to reach the famous blue stage in Davos and, through curses directed at the founder of the WEF, Klaus Schwab, made his opinion about the organization known. 

Imani wasn’t the only one boycotting this event. Opponents of the elite gathered by the WEF attempted to pass off video recordings of farmers’ protests in Germany challenging new austerity policies in that country as footage from “protests against the World Economic Forum’s agenda.” 

The most widespread disinformation from the Davos stage concerns a warning about an upcoming “Disease X” in the near future. The “guardians of truth” claim that the elite has prepared and announced a new pandemic, and vaccines are already prepared, they say. 

We brace ourselves for another marathon of disinformation. Until the next gathering in Davos. 

Nina Djuranovic, Raskrinkavanje.me

This project is funded through a U.S. Embassy grant. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of State.