The portal “KosovoOnline” is chosen “Troll of the Month” for denying the Recak massacre
The media network “Reporting Diversity Network 2.0”, that enjoys great reputation in the Western Balkans region, has chosen the portal “KosovoOnline” as the “Troll of the Month” for denying the Recak massacre committed by Serbian forces in 1999.
In social media language, a troll is a person, group of people, or media outlet that publishes or broadcasts digressive, inciting, and hateful messages based on ethnicity, religion, gender, or other social categories.
The “KosovoOnline” portal is followed by more than 66,000 people and is one of the few serbian-language media outlets in Kosovo that took the opportunity to spread misinformation and propaganda on the anniversary of the Recak massacre.
The portal’s editor, Milos Garic, openly stated that the Recak massacre was a “falsification of history” and that the “real” event was that Serb forces fought members of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
“The denial of war crimes and human atrocities by officials, the media, and influencers makes it almost impossible to deal with the past and acts as an obstacle to the reconciliation process in the region. This as a whole creates a wedge between the two ethnic groups and prevents the building of better relations between Kosovo and Serbia,” RDN writes.
On January 15, 1999, “the devil visited Recak,” said the then head of the verification mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), William Walker, when he saw up close the massacre in that village by Serb forces.
Serbian police and military units entered each house individually, separated the men of the village from their families, and killed and massacred 45 ethnic Albanians, 22 of whom were found together in a canal, among them elders and a child.
Despite the testimonies and decisions of a number of international institutions condemning the massacre in Recak, serbian officials and a large number of serbian media then and now deny the monstrous events that took place.
“Instead of providing a platform to spread hatred and deny war crimes, portals and journalists should try to adhere to some ethical codes and journalistic practices that firstly do not aim to harm the victims of the war, and secondly do not intend to further divide the society,” RDN writes.
Otherwise, the data from the platform hibrid.info – a member of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), show that the Kosovar public is mostly misinformed about the events in the north of Kosovo, including the relations between Kosovo and Serbia, as the events in the communities of the majority Serb-inhabited regions in Kosovo.
Kosovo citizens encounter the most misinformation when it comes to political events, where almost 20 percent of the issues about which misinformation is spread in the media are related to news about the majority Serb-inhabited northern part of Kosovo or Kosovo – Serbia dialogue./Albanian post/