State of Media in Georgia: Public Opinion Poll Results - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო
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State of Media in Georgia: Public Opinion Poll Results

11 June, 2020

 

The majority of respondents have heard about Facebook Pages that were created to spread fake news. The majority of the population also thinks that the government is interfering with the media’s activities.

These are the results of the public opinion poll that was commissioned by Transparency International Georgia and conducted between February 27 - March 18, 2020, by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC). With a total of 1,763 respondents being interviewed throughout the country, the representative survey has a margin of error of 2.2%.

Fighting disinformation on social media is one of the biggest challenges. This issue is particularly aggravated in Georgia during the pre-election period, when political forces, including most actively by the ruling party, use fake pages to discredit their opponents and other subjects.

53% of the respondents have heard about Facebook Pages that are used for the circulation of fake news. This is a 17-percentage point increase in comparison to 2019. 1

Last year, Facebook removed hundreds of pages in Georgia for “Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior”. Out of the 53% of respondents that have heard about the fake pages, 70% were aware of the removal of the pages. Nevertheless, 46% were unaware of who was behind those pages.

As for the independence of the media, the results are similar to that of the last year with a high percentage of respondents stating that there is government interference in the work of the media. Namely, 71% of the respondents believe that the government sometimes (45%) or always (26%) interferes in the work of the media to ensure coverage favorable to them.

Moreover, 50% of the respondents believe that the government’s oppression of media representatives who are critical of the government is more common (39%) or very common (11%).

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1 The fieldwork was carried out between 27.02.2020-18.03.2020. Therefore, public opinion research doesn’t cover Facebook’s removal of pages on 05.05.2020

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