Disinformation debate: Who and why (doesn’t) advertises on the websites spreading disinformation?


10 Feb 2021, 16:00 CET

On February 10th 2021, PSSI held an online debate focused on the advertising revenue of disinformation pages. The guests, Denisa Hejlová (Charle University), Roman Čihalík (NELEŽ), together with PSSI’s own Jonáš Syrovátka, discussed which disinformation platforms gain the most from online ads, which civic movements are trying to draw attention to this issue, and how private companies react to their advertisement appearing on controversial platforms. The debate was hosted by Vojtěch Boháč (Voxpot).

By its very nature, internet advertisement “follows” its target anywhere he/she goes, which can also be an internet page spreading disinformation and/or conspiracy theories. The owners of those pages are well aware of that, and some of them have transformed their activity into a lucrative business. In order to discuss this topic, PSSI held an open debate, in which Denisa Hejlová, head of the department of Marketing Communication and Public Relations at FSV UK, Roman Čihalík, member of NELEŽ initiative and Jonáš Syrovátka, program manager at PSSI participated. Together, they discussed which disinformation platforms make the most out of their ad revenue, which civic initiatives are trying to introduce this issue to the general public, and how big brands themselves view the fact that some of their ads can appear on pages, the contents of which can potentially conflict with their ethical code. 

See the recording of the event above.

The event was supported by the British Embassy in Prague.