Netsafe is warning Kiwis not to take all social media content about the conflict in Ukraine at face value.
Netsafe’s Sean Lyons says discerning fake from real can be a challenge. (Source: 1News)
“We might be forming opinions that aren’t actually accurate. We might be part of the spread of that information if we don’t know where it’s come from,” says Sean Lyons, Director of Technology and Partnerships for Netsafe.
Tom Mutch is a Kiwi journalist on the ground in Ukraine.
Speaking from Lviv, he says discerning fake from real online can be a real challenge.
“It’s often very hard to figure out these videos, exactly where they are, exactly what the troops in them are doing, exactly where the fighting is going on, who’s doing it,” he says.
Netsafe is urging people to look out for disinformation – false information that’s deliberately spread.
“Those are definitely situations that occur, especially at times of conflict like these,” says Lyons.
He acknowledges social media also has benefits in times of war.
“Having a vehicle to be able to shout up when something is going wrong is a really valuable side of social media, but we also have to be aware people will try to use that same tool to spread a message far and wide, even when the message isn’t necessarily genuine.”