How one misinformation can upset public opinion


These days it has been seen again how much misinformation can be dangerous weapon and how important it is to be recognized and denied on time. Montenegrin portals “IN4S” and “FOS Media” announced that members of the Kosovo Police special unit “ROSU” have made themselves available to the Government of Montenegro to stop any disturbances that may occur in the cities of those countries where these days are being hold peaceful protest walks over the adoption of a law on confiscation of religious sites owned by the Serbian Orthodox Church. In a situation where tensions have reached maximum throughout Montenegro due to the adoption of the law, it is logical that this information has caused great upset among citizens who declare themselves Serbs and support the views of the Serbian Orthodox Church. We would like to remind you that the special unit “ROSU” has so far entered the Serbian part of Kosovska Mitrovica several times and arrested the citizens there with threats and used brute force. Therefore, it is not surprising that this information was also “scammed” by a large number of Serbian citizens through social networks and it caused even greater negative effects and great consequences. Fortunately, the Government of Montenegro reacted quickly and categorically denied the published misinformation.

“Regarding the statement made in one formally-local media channel that a special police unit from one neighboring country should assist the Montenegrin police on Christmas Eve, we are announcing that these are absolutely unfounded claims”, the announcement was made by the Government of Montenegro on Facebook and Twitter.

The announcement was followed by “FOS Media” portal. His editorial staff apologized to readers and the public for publishing misinformation stating “it was not possible to verify the accuracy of this information”.

“The editorial board of the “FOS Media” portal apologizes to the readers and the public sincerely, noting that at no point did nothing happen to select panic and to spread the disturbance among Montenegrin citizens”, FOS Media apologized as well.

In the meantime, Montenegrin police have arrested the editor of the “FOS Media portal”, Angela Djikanovic, for publishing this misinformation. She has been remanded in custody for the possibility of re-committing the crime she was charged with. The decision was immediately criticized by the Democratic Front, the strongest opposition party in Montenegro’s political scene.

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