BIRN Kosovo Hosts Debate on Fake News, Gender Disinformation and Sexism

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On March 31, 2023, BIRN held a debate with 20 students of the high school “Hivzi Sylejmani” in the municipality of Fushë Kosovo on fake news, gender disinformation and sexism.

Photo: BIRN

The activity addressed the importance of fact-checking information coming from all sources, emphasizing the significance of addressing fake news and disinformation as measures to prevent gender disinformation and sexism in the virtual era.

The activity included also the screening of a video titled “Gender disinformation”, followed by the presentation and discussion of the panel composed by Kreshnik Gashi, Managing editor of, Sanam Dolatshahi, Head of the Office of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs at UNMIK, and Kadrije Krasniqi, Project Coordinator at Balkan Sunflowers Kosovo.

The event started with opening remarks of the guest speaker of this event, Barrie Freeman, Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary–General.

Freeman stated: “Studies have shown that 58 per cent of women have declared that once in their life they have experienced gender-based violence and mistreatment through the internet. For the United Nations, the fight against fake news and hate speech is an important battle. We know that the world is a better world, people live better lives when news and information are based on facts.”

Gashi, managing editor of, spoke about the importance of educating the young on how to debunk fake news and invest their skills in reading properly on the internet by close cooperation with credible media outlets, in order to avoid harming others online but also being victims themselves.

Sanam Dolatshahi, Head of the Office of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs at UNMIK, stated that, “the internet is very important, and we cannot ignore it, but we have to know how to use it properly without harming ourselves or others.”

Kadrije Krasniqi, Project Coordinator at Balkan Sunflowers Kosovo, highlighted the significance of the interest among the young in participating in educative activities because such activities can help youngsters to build their future.

The event was followed by an interactive discussion between the guest speakers and the students.

Young participants were eager to express their views on fake news, disinformation and hate speech. Apart from addressing questions to the panel, they shared personal experiences. A total of 20 students took part in this debate, out of whom 14 were women.

The activity was carried out within the UNMIK-supported project “Addressing disinformation through fact-checking journalism”.