Centre for Monitoring and Research (CeMI), in collaboration with partners, is implementing a Pilot Project in Montenegro aimed at improving the integrity and electoral process in Montenegro, protecting the right to freedom of expression in the digital space, while respecting the established rules of political advertising during the election campaign, as well as other standards and rules of Facebook.
CeMI is the first non-governmental organization in Montenegro to establish a monitoring system through the CrowdTangle platform, in collaboration with partners. This will enable the collection and processing of those data that may indicate elements of coordinated inauthentic behavior during the election campaign, i.e. hate speech and organized negative campaigns, which are conducted in order to discredit political opponents during the election process.
We are especially pleased that CeMI will implement the project according to the same methodology previously developed and implemented by prestigious institutions such as the Stanford Internet Observatory (USA), Urbino University (Italy), and Memo98 (Slovakia).
Given all the challenges posed by the development of digital technologies and the popularity and impact of social networks on shaping public opinion, as well as the fact that due to the specific situation caused by Covid-19, the political campaign of the parties is predominantly on social networks, the project will be implemented primarily with the aim to protect voters and their right to informed and free choice.
That is why the special focus of CeMI will be on identifying possible foreign influences on the electoral process in Montenegro, and thus on the free choice and will of voters, but also on collecting evidence of cases of abuse of state resources online.
CeMI will publish a report on the collected data, identified irregularities, and steps taken in cooperation with partners to prevent such occurrences in the Montenegrin public space, and thus protect the right of voters to free choice.
In order to inform the citizens of Montenegro, CeMI will publish a publication on rights and responsibilities online, with an analysis of the existing legal and institutional framework in Montenegro, and international best practice, as well as an e-brochure on their digital rights and how to protect them in Montenegro.