THE IMPACT OF FAKENEWS IN ONLINE MEDIA IN THE ALBANIAN LANGUAGE ON THE WESTERN BALKANS AND ITS THREAT TO CITIZENS’ LIVES
This study concetrates on the dissemination of unverified news which poses a threat to the lives of citizens, particularly minority groups in Kosovo. Additionally, the spread of unverified news can lead to harassment, attacks, and bullying of innocent individuals. The focus of the study is online media in the Albanian language of the Western Balkans, specifically in Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Albania, as these countries currently lack laws regulating such media. Through the use of qualitative data collection methods and content analysis, we have reached our findings through the snowball technique. A qualitative method of data collection from “fake” news publications was used, with a sample consisting of titles and articles of fake news taken from all online media with over 150 titles within a single day. Our research has revealed that online media in the Albanian language in Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Albania have not yet reached maturity. This is evident in the frequent inaccuracies in data, often caused by the rush to publish news without proper verification of the information and the reliability of sources. The reliability and security of data in these media is inadequate and requires more time to reach a level that adequately protects the integrity and dignity of individuals and the integrity and reliability of the media.
Ethical principles, Fake news, Credibilty, Online Media, Western Balkans