Presidential ‘hotline’ to act against ‘false information’ in Armenia

Public relations and information center of the President’s Administration has launched a ‘Hot-line’ service aimed at collecting data on cases of misinformation and falsifications of facts related to Armenia and Armenians from the internet and various other open sources of information. The service will also look for “violations of the right to receive reliable information with the objective of taking action to eradicate such violations”.

“Dissemination of inaccurate, partial, false information and misinformation, formation of negative opinion about Armenia and Armenians seriously damage the international authority of the Republic of Armenia and the information interests of Armenians”, the official statement runs – soliciting calls to hotline@iprc.am if met with such information.

This news poses a variety of questions. What is the prime target for the center? Will it be paying more attention to information sources based in Turkey, Azerbaijan? If yes – how does the center plan to counter disinformation disseminated by them – clearly it has neither the authority nor the technical means to counter information disseminated by news outlets like Hurriet or Day.az.

Does this than turn out to become a tool directly primarily at news sources based in Armenia? Can it be considered a disguised form of censorship? What is the legal basis for the ‘action’ to be taken? The Armenian Constitution and media legislation says nothing about the ‘right to receive reliable information’ – who has invented it and for what purpose?

(Thanks to Ogostos’ blog for bringing this to my attention)

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8 thoughts on “Presidential ‘hotline’ to act against ‘false information’ in Armenia

  1. Onnik – the problem is – PanArmenian had a very bad translation of the whole thing, I wasn’t warried until I got hold of the Armenian and Russian versions of the announcements. So while the PanArmenian – to which you had linked said “administration “Hot line” will be opened in Armenia”, I found out that it is already operating.

    Moreover, PanArmenian says the “Hot line” is “aimed at searching disinformation and falsifications”, whereas, it has also the function of ACTING, which is what got me really started.

  2. Well, then. I’m even more concerned. Big Brother won’t be watching us soon. It is watching us.

    Suppose I’d better use the occasion and say hi to them in case they’re looking in, then. :-)

    Meanwhile, does that mean we can report the pro-government online media to them for “disinformation?”

    (Yes, I know there’s the same issue with opposition press, but I’m sure they’re already on that one)

    Wait a minute.

    It would be too much work unless we could get a script to automatically send the RSS feed to their email address… ;-)

  3. Hmm, “strangely” coinciding with the a1+’s new service. Suppose I’m “tad bit” misinforming already. Oh my … they are knocking my door …

  4. Interestingly though, in Germany everybody can find such “hotline” numbers in the back of yellow-book. People can report everything without worrying about revealing their identity. That’s how the society behaves there “so correctly”, everything nice, clean and in order.

  5. Tigran, right. Like Germany has a problem with no independent media, perpetually falsified elections, oh, why am I even bothering to go on…

    Meanwhile, if you could provide us with the presidential “hotline” for informing the authorities of “un-German” information we’d be all appreciative.

  6. Onik, I’m just humouring myself. There is no independent media anywhere, just the idea of independent and media is already contradictory. It’s always somebody’s or some organisation’s view or take on the reality. It has been like that from the ancient times. OK, enough philosophy, how about that pint?

  7. I dont see any problem in watching and reporting. We do the same every day. We watch (browse) internet and then whatever we find interested we report via our blogs, tweeters, in Facebook and etc. The only difference is that we don’t get paid but these people do. If they were a little bit advanced they could open a Web2 site with RSS reader to collect the ‘misinformation’. just imagine the flow of information :) You will need the whole kGB to see and read every single comment and tweeter update :)

    The ‘problem’ I see is in the word “Acting”. What do they mean? will they close or block a blog or a Facebook account? I guess it is the continuation of their post-March 1 Big Plan for shutting down the Internet. They are still living in the Soviet era where they could confiscate samizdat typewritters. Only one word – Idiots.

    The only problem I see is that these idiots are wasting the taxpayers money.

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