Attacks on media outlets and organisations, Citizens Channel, 02/04/2024, Tirana

    Country AL
    Name and Surname Citizens Channel
    Gender Group Citizens Channel
    Date 02/04/2024
    City / Location Tirana
    Type of incident Attacks on media outlets and organizations
    Type of media online
    Media name Citizen Channel
    Legal closure Ongoing (or case not closed)
    Was journalist`s association informed Yes

    On 2nd April, Citizen Channel, a niche non-profit and independent media outlet in Albania, is facing a concerning situation. Their content on Facebook is being systematically reported as spam or in violation of Facebook’s rules. They also receive constant digital attacks on their website.

    This campaign seems to be a coordinated effort to silence their voice, particularly after they published an article critical of the construction of the National Theater and the issuance of permits for skyscrapers by the Tirana municipality. Following the publication, a digital army began targeting their past articles, dating back to 2021, with reports aiming to shut down their Facebook page.

    This represents a direct attack on independent journalism by attempting to censor and silence critical journalism and risking the outreach and relations of Citizen Channel with their audiences. Such actions can create a chilling effect, deterring other media outlets from investigating or reporting on sensitive or controversial issues for fear of similar reprisals.

    This undermines the public’s right to access diverse and independent information, crucial for informed decision-making and public discourse. Lastly, the use of digital platforms to orchestrate such campaigns highlights the vulnerabilities and challenges media outlets face in the digital age, where content can be swiftly and effectively suppressed through coordinated online campaigns.

































    Updates on the case: 08/04/2024

    Citizen Channel is still under attack. Their account on Instagram, has experienced an immediate increase in followers around 45K (fake accounts). This is a technique that makes it easier for `attackers` to report the account as a fake one.