Ways to prevent the conversion of information into weapons. NGO educates its citizens.
The Azerbaijan National Section of the International Society for Human Rights in Sumgait organized a round table on the topic “Freedom of the press, manipulating thoughts, threats to the media and the role of social networks”. At the round table, which was attended by public persons, representatives of civil society institutions, spoke about innovations, their pros and cons, mainly through the new media.
The head of the Azerbaijan National Section of the International Society for Human Rights, Saadat Bananyarly, who opened the round table, noted that although technological progress has made it easier for people to access information, it also led to some negative trends: freedom of speech, freedom of expression of one’s thoughts are the basic principles of democracy. Recently, some positive changes have occurred in the media of Azerbaijan. In particular, television has reduced the number of banal show programs that have been distributed recently. The rapid decline in the popularity of television channels, the loss of an intellectual audience, led to such a step. One of the main functions of television is to provide information to the audience and at the same time help them solve their problems by highlighting them. The country’s information policy has for some time reduced access to problematic news programs to such an extent that viewers are increasingly turning to social networks. At the same time, along with socially important news, rumors and misinformation have polluted the country’s information space. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of citizens’ ability to separate news from misinformation (rumors). We hope that such round tables in this sense will be useful for the participants”. A resident of Sumgayit, Ramin Nagiyev, a student at the Medical University, said that the new generation is mainly take information from the Internet, printed materials for young people are not interesting for various reasons. Probably today in Azerbaijan, there is no young man who would be sent to a newsstand in the morning. We have new trends and new methods. Internet TV has also become very popular lately. They are also important in terms of obtaining information in different versions and discussing various issues on the agenda. Almost every representative of a new generation has his or her favorite “youtuber”, “blogger”, “viner”. Everyone can access information that suits his or her interests. Social networks are also important because they give people the opportunity to participate in discussions and express their thoughts. This is a positive side. Of course, this open space also has its drawbacks. This is the use of uncensored information as a weapon against opponents, which leads to the rapid deliberate dissemination of misinformation about specific people and events, and as a result, the person who is the object of information is discredited. R. Nagiyev emphasized that he considers it necessary to verify the reliability of information received from the Internet by comparing it with information from several sources.
The roundtable participants exchanged views on the ideas expressed. Participants stated that information and behavior are directly related to the level of education and culture of the person receiving and disseminating it. It was also emphasized that the viewer’s literacy increases his informational requirements, as a result of which low-level informational sites and Internet television are closed, which leads to an improvement in the media environment.
Könül Süleyman, Musavat.com