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Medvedev highlights the problem of ‘fake news’ in present-day world

The prime minister admitted that unverified information could also appear in reliable media outlets

MOSCOW, November 25./TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev emphasized on Monday the importance of having reliable sources of information in today’s world, where ‘fake news’ are widely used.

"The reliable sources of information are specifically important in the modern age, the age of information," the prime minister told the 27th meeting of the chiefs of CIS news agencies (CIS Information Council) at TASS. "There should be no illusions to this respect," he stressed.

One can be critical of state media, but even those in the opposition understand that if a state news agency is behind the news, the minuses of publishing factoids have at least been factored in. Moreover, state media outlets avoid such publications, Medvedev stressed.

The prime minister admitted that unverified information could also appear in reliable media outlets. "But nevertheless, you feel your responsibility to the people, to the leaders who appoint you to these positions one way or another, while other sources of information don’t often go by this," the prime minister stressed.

"This, I believe, is the point and prestige of the existence of these state news agencies in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States," he stressed. Focusing on reliability of information, Medvedev reiterated that "the discussion of the so-called ‘fake news’ is very popular across the globe nowadays".

"Some heads of state begin and end their working day with this, but even though this looks grotesquely sometimes, the problem does exist. The world is structured so that earlier, at any rate when I was young, one could understand immediately where this news had come from since the sources of information were centralized, but now it is practically impossible to understand this," he noted.

Under the laws of the news genre, if something goes viral, later the source becomes either absolutely untraceable or it stops being important. "There is a different situation; if nothing has happened but certain news was born and has been cited, let us say, by ten sources (since nowadays anyone registered in social networking systems may declare himself or herself a journalist of a blogger), this information becomes popularly accepted and in fact nearly credible, which it is not in fact," the prime minister stressed.

This is a huge problem for the present-day society, he emphasized.