Government exodus in Slovakia amidst disinformation concerns

Officials attribute their departure to interference and incompatibility concerns, primarily linked to the government’s alleged propagation of misinformation and pro-Russian narratives.

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Public officials in Slovakia are resigning from their roles, citing interference and incompatibility issues, following the ascent of the Smer-SD party to power. The departures are linked to the government’s alleged promotion of misinformation and pro-Russian narratives.

Experts in strategic communication, including social media administrator David Puchovský and Daniel Milo, director of the Centre for Combating Hybrid Threats, have stepped down, raising questions about the country’s approach to tackling disinformation.

The Interior Ministry acknowledges hybrid threats as a serious risk but faces uncertainty as contracts for key positions remain unextended. Compounding concerns are the endorsements of pro-Kremlin narratives by government figures like Robert Fico and Ľuboš Blaha. Additionally, Culture Minister Martina Šimkovičová’s connections to a media outlet labeled as having questionable content add to the growing unease about the direction of information dissemination in Slovakia.

Why does it matter?

Addressing disinformation in Slovakia is crucial, as recent research reveals a concerning inclination among Slovaks toward embracing conspiracy theories. The country has garnered one of the highest ‘conspiracy index’ scores ever recorded. Moreover, the new prime minister, Robert Fico, is branding prominent media outlets as hostile and threatening to limit their access. This has sparked significant apprehension among Slovakian journalists and international watchdogs regarding the future of the information landscape in the country.