Article Image

IPFS News Link • Ukraine

The Assassination Attempt Against Robert Fico Proves That Fake News Can Radicalize People

•, by Andrew Korybko

Fico's return to office last fall came in spite of American meddling that sought to scare folks away from voting for this conservative-nationalist firebrand, after which he promptly recalibrated his country's policy towards Ukraine and formed a peace coalition with Hungary.

While some are suspicious that the "lone wolf" who shot him might not have been acting on his own due to Fico making very powerful enemies across the world during his latest term, this incident at the very least proves that fake news can radicalize people into committing heinous crimes. After all, the shooter convinced himself that this was a legitimate form of protest against what he thought was his country's "pro-Russian fascist dictator", the perception of which was entirely shaped by fake news.

The Interior Minister warned shortly after the attack that "What was unleashed, the hatred that was sown, has today become a storm. We are standing on the brink of civil war. This assassination attempt against the prime minister is confirmation of that. I want to appeal to the public, to journalists and to all politicians to stop spreading hatred." It was precisely due to this hatred that was sown since the last election that the shooter became radicalized to the point of trying to take matters into his own hands.

Former Russian President and incumbent Deputy Chair of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev tweeted that Fico "was not a pro-Russian [leader]…just a pragmatist and not a Russophobe", yet Western media reporting about the assassination attempt against him continued falsely claiming otherwise. The UK's Sky News arguably attempted to justify the attack against him by implying the shooter was radicalized by his policies, not fake news, which suggested that this was a legitimate form of protest.