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Sunday 20.08.2017 | Name days: Bernhards, Boriss
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«Elf» movement created to oppose internet «trolls»

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«While the internet is the leading platform for topical news, it is also an environment for intentional disinformation and lies,» says researcher of the Eastern European Policy Study Centre Maris Cepuritis.

Following the example set by Lithuania, former member of Association of Professional Political Consultants and diplomat Ingmars Bisenieks has decided to create an internet elf movement in Latvia to oppose aggressive trolls on the internet.

«The word of media and freedom of speech have unfortunately become tools for governments to perform political manipulations,» Cepuritis said.

«Internet troll farms in Moscow, St Petersburg or Macedonia are some of the few examples of countries or other politically interested players forming organized manipulative activities to change public opinion. The fight for hearts and minds has long since become an important part of military doctrines. Russia’s military doctrine, for example, considers the minds of an individual the main battlefield. Dominance over it helps defeat the opponent without using conventional military means,» Cepuritis adds.

Experts mention that the annexation of Crimea and the subsequent armed clashes in Eastern Ukraine served as a phenomenon that changed the security situation in Europe. This is reflected in the decisions made by Latvia and other member states in the region to allocate additional funding for defence, NATO’s decision to increase its military presence in member states, and decisions of several thousand Latvian residents to join the ranks of the National Guard.

While Latvia’s defensive capabilities continue growing, internet trolls from different countries continue their destructive work to steal the hearts and minds of Latvia’s society. Many countries have already experienced the negative effects from trolls and have commenced measures to combat their activities in the digital environment. Lithuania already has an internet elf movement that actively combats trolls. The time has come for Latvia to join their ranks and keep Latvia’s internet space free of trolling, says the expert.

Ref: 225.109.109.2004


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