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Anonymous Telegram channels say they have been accredited to attend Zelensky's press conference

19.12.2023, 16:42

Several anonymous Telegram channels say they have been accredited to attend the press conference of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, which is scheduled for today, December 19.

Namely, this was reported by "Trukha Ukraine", "Vertykal", "Ukraine Now".

Screenshots by the IMI

"Vertykal" and "Joker" (both thought to be affiliated with the President's Office staff) write that there will be "a lot of shocking information" and "important insights" at the press conference.

Screenshots by the IMI

The IMI director, Oksana Romaniuk, warns of the danger: "The fact that the President's Office legitimizes Trukha and other anonymous Telegram channels and equates them with professional media is simply a blow to all media literacy campaigns that we are having in Ukraine. If anonymous trash bins that post hidden ads and fake news while nobody knows who owns them are legitimized by the President's Office itself, we will not be able to explain to the people what is wrong with them. And this is also dangerous, because in addition to Trukha, there are a lot of similar shadowy media actors who use Telegram channels in the information war against Ukraine."

We remind you that Volodymyr Zelensky's last press conference took place on February 24, 2023. Then some journalists reported that they were denied accreditation for the press conference. In particular, the Censor.NET editor-in-chief Yuriy Butusov and BIHUS.Info editor Maksym Opanasenko received the following message: "Accreditation has been denied due to the limited number of seats and extra security measures."

In November 2023, "Detector Media" and the Institute of Mass Information reported pressure and obstruction of their journalistic work via an organized smear and blackmail campaign targeting the two organisations that has been initiated by a group of anonymous Telegram channels including "Monaco Battalion", "Joker", and "Trukha" and its regional network of Telegram channels.

Previously, the IMI explained how Telegram manipulates its audience.

The IMI also discussed whether Telegram channels should be registered as media. Currently, making a proper assessment of the practice of registering Telegram channels is impossible, since Ukraine's National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting has only publicly posted news about the first Telegram channel officially registering as an online media outlet, and the media register has not yet been developed.

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