They say that the first thing, which dies in a war, is the truth. In the for seven years on-going conflict in Libya fake news and hate speech have spread on the internet and on social media on a daily basis. The impact is tremendous: Confidence and trust in information – be it published by national media outlets or on social media – diminishes. „In a tribalized and fragmented society like Libya every party publishes fake news“, participant S. A. from Ras Lanuf said. In a three day workshop 24 bloggers from all over Libya sat together and discussed the important role civil society bloggers can play to establish counter-narratives to widespread fake news and hate speech in the country.
„Since many experts in Libya have established strategies to publish false information, it is very important to educate on this topic on a grass roots level“, S. A. said. Some of the participants have more than ten thousand followers on social media. And their voice becomes more and more important. To not get involved in a „war of words“ participants learned strategies how to detect fake news and how to publish facts without falling in the trap of insults. They learned about rules for journalists and the code of conduct to keep credibility in online discussions.
Under the chairmanship of the Libyan Bloggers Network, DW Academy and German Friedrich Ebert Foundation the participants also discussed rules for civil society bloggers to establish a broad network of Libyans that are committed to the truth and the love of their homeland.