Djokovic Saga, far-right rhetoric and ethnic bias are disrupting the online world
They first staged a protest in front of the Romanian parliament against the possible introduction of mandatory COVID vaccination passes, then recently criticized the teaching of the Holocaust and sex education in schools. Madalin Necsutu suggests that it is a worrying trend that “the right-wing AUR party in Romania sees anti-Semitism as a means of attracting new voters”.
In a disturbing incident on January 26, the AUR party launched a public campaign on Facebook against the Romanian media, which it considered hostile. The AUR published a “blacklist” of the Romanian press on its official Facebook page. “The AUR tries to intimidate journalists who dare to honestly report on the actions, intentions and positions of this party,” said G4 Media editor Cristian Pantazi. Blacklisting in Romania is nothing new as politicians like Corneliu Vadim Tudor, Traian Băsescu, Liviu Dragnea and Florin Cîțu have all followed a similar practice in the recent past.
Phishing scams and computer fraud are ubiquitous in the Romanian digital environment. At the same time, and as already highlighted in our last annual report on digital rights, “Online Intimidation: Controlling Narrative in the Balkans“, Romania also stands out as the country with the highest number of cases (20) involving violation of citizens’ rights. data recorded last year.
In a first incident, recorded on January 20, the National Road Infrastructure Company warns that many drivers are the target of phishing e-mails, after their e-mail addresses were stolen from the Vignette site. It’s unclear when the original attack happened and how the unknown hackers obtained the users’ email addresses. Meanwhile, it was also revealed on January 26 that the attackers behind the FluBot Trojan, which spread globally last year, mainly targeted Romanian users between January 15 and 18. , according to a report published by Bitdefender cybersecurity experts.
Republika Srpska holiday and online misogyny spark hostilities in Bosnia
The consequences of the National Day ban in the Bosnian Serb-dominated entity, Republika Srpska, continue to characterize certain violations that occurred in the second half of January in the Bosnian digital environment.
On January 14, a video of the song “Jedina Srpska”, performed by the Belgrade union and Danica Crnogorcevic, a folklore and spiritual music singer from Montenegro, was removed from YouTube. The video, which was released to coincide with the celebration of Republika Srpska Day, was removed after several YouTube users complained that it incited ethnic hatred, according to the singer.
Episodes of misogynists and attacks on militants also continue to occur very frequently in Bosnia. Environmental activists, in particular, across Bosnia are facing growing threats, pressure and attacks from citizens and public institutions, as evidenced by the Mostar case, where the City Court ruled imposing a sentence on all activists active in the region.
One incident, recorded on January 20, concerned the public debate on small hydropower plants, supposed to provide solutions and ideas for a better environment in Mostar, which was marked by an accident and took place in the municipality of Mostar. One of the owners of a small hydroelectric plant insulted an eco-activist in front of the “Aarhus Center” association. The discussion went viral with many social media users sharing the video calling it a chauvinistic and vulgar attack.