Europe

AP Interview: Czechs ready for fake news ahead of elections

  • Eva Romancovova who coordinated the creation of the Center Against Terrorism and Hybrid Threats answers questions to The Associated Press during an interview in Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. A new Czech center set up to combat fake news is getting ready for disinformation campaigns ahead of elections despite a fierce opposition from the country's president. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

    Eva Romancovova who coordinated the creation of the Center Against Terrorism and Hybrid Threats answers questions to The Associated Press during an interview in Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. A new Czech center set up to combat fake news is getting ready for disinformation campaigns ahead of elections despite a fierce opposition from the country's president. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)  (The Associated Press)

  • Eva  Romancovova who coordinated the creation of the Center Against Terrorism and Hybrid Threats answers questions to The Associated Press during an interview in Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. A new Czech center set up to combat fake news is getting ready for disinformation campaigns ahead of elections despite a fierce opposition from the country's president.  (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

    Eva Romancovova who coordinated the creation of the Center Against Terrorism and Hybrid Threats answers questions to The Associated Press during an interview in Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. A new Czech center set up to combat fake news is getting ready for disinformation campaigns ahead of elections despite a fierce opposition from the country's president. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)  (The Associated Press)

A new Czech unit to combat fake news is preparing to combat disinformation campaigns ahead of two key elections.

Jana Romancovova who coordinated the creation of the Center Against Terrorism and Hybrid Threats says it is working on a project to protect the elections after "alarming" warnings from other countries, including Germany.

Romancova says it would be "very naive" to think the Czech Republic would be spared from such attacks.

Czechs will choose lawmakers in October and the new president early in 2018.

A team of 15 experts monitors traditional and social media to quickly rebut misinformation which has a potential to radicalize public opinion or cause panic, coming possibly from pro-Russian sources.

President Milos Zeman, whose views are considered pro-Russian, has repeatedly attacked the unit, linking it to censorship.