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Published: 20 october 2021 11:54

Lithuanian media decide to turn off comments on articles about COVID-19 vaccination

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Members of the Internet Media Association (IŽA) in Lithuania decided to disable commenting option on their articles about COVID-19 vaccination. The step is taken in order to boost the vaccination rate in the country. The first media companies that implemented this decision was Delfi, 15min.lt, Lrytas.lt, Madeinvilnius.lt, ve.lt. They invite other media companies to follow their decision, according to a press release from IŽA.

As Arnas Marcinkus, the head of the Internet Media Association says this is the voluntary decision of a socially responsible media business that is cost-free but can help to save many lives and bring benefits for Lithuania.

„We believe that this decision can help to raise vaccination rates in the country and to motivate people to get vaccinated. At the moment we see a decrease in people willing to get vaccinated compared to the beginning of this year. Members of the association have tools that can prevent the spreading of information that makes people scared“, - A. Marcinkus adds.

According to him, some media companies in other European countries have already taken the same decision. Nevertheless, Lithuanian news websites are taking the same step as other global leaders to help societies to recover from the pandemic.

As Vytautas Benokraitis, the CEO of Delfi, says online media cannot become the place for spreading information against vaccination. Every day the number of new COVID-19 cases are growing and more people are lost because of the pandemic. The situation has an impact on people’s lives, businesses and ordinary life.

„Therefore we decided to disable commenting even before we hear any recommendations from government, for example, Ministry of Health. We can be a part of preventing the spread of information that is not validated by science or medicine. Only responsible vaccination can help us to stop the pandemic“, - V. Benokraitis continues.

Tautvydas Mikalajūnas, the Chief editor of Lrytas.lt, says that everyone has to put their input into tackling the pandemic.

„We as a media can help to share trustful information about vaccines and their benefits. Lrytas.lt disables commenting on articles about vaccination to stop spreading of fake news, conspiracy theories that make people scared and decide to stay unvaccinated. We live in times of medicine and science. Therefore, we have to believe what science and medicine say“, - he comments.

According to Vaidotas Beniušius, the Chief editor of 15min.lt, freedom of speech is a key value in democracies but it cannot be used to spread fake information that does a bad influence on society.

Norėdamas tęsti – užsiregistruok

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