Information about Baku residents to be banned from entering the city's central streets for the convenience of tourists on the eve and after the final match of the UEFA Europa League was spread, allegedly by the law enforcement agencies, on social networks yesterday. This "news" immediately became a major topic in social media, many statements were written about it, and even the government turned into an object of unreasonable condemnation. However, as soon as the false information was disseminated in online media and social networks, the Interior Ministry and the Baku City Executive Power issued a statement denying this "news". It was noted that no restrictions will be applied for the city residents on the eve and after the event. Nevertheless, the interested circles tried to keep this "news" on the agenda through social networks. In this way, they were deliberately trying to create a stir and dissatisfaction among the population. Naturally, the main purpose was to destabilize the country and create an artificial tension on the eve of the international event. But their efforts did not give any results. The immediate reaction of the relevant bodies to the issue, as well as the objective approach of the public to the events prevented the next anti-Azerbaijani campaign committed by the anti-national elements against our country, and artificial stir was put down.
In his statement to Kaspi, political scientist, MP Hikmet Babaoglu, said that information has become a tool nowadays. According to him, the public opinion is formed through this tool, in some cases people are misled and purposefully manipulated. Some of the interesting circles, including the anti-Azerbaijani power centers, are trying to take advantage from the every next stage of information development against our country, the MP emphasized. "They start to circulate all information space, leaving no source of false information. This is a very dangerous tactic. This tactic is being applied in social networks in Azerbaijan lately. Negative impulses are transmitted from anti-Azerbaijani centers abroad to our information space. Then, simulations are initiated around them, discussions are organized, attempts are made on the basis of public opinion. This can lead to the misinterpretation of our information consumers. This is the essence of the issue. The non-objective information about the ban on entry and exit of urban residents on the eve of the final match of the UEFA Europa League in Baku is another example. Despite the official information that denied this information, interested circles tried to keep this "news" in the information circle. However, anti-Azerbaijani forces have forgotten such a point: Azerbaijan's information space is quite intellectual. Therefore, information consumers of Azerbaijan are aware of the purpose of the "news" on blockage of the city center. That is precisely why that disinformation failed to give the effect expected by the interested circles. I believe that by presenting such an objective attitude to the events and analyzing everything, we should expand awareness raising activities, so that the Azerbaijani society can be more immune to such "information" in the future,” the MP noted.
According to political commentator Elchin Mirzabeyli, several directions are clearly reflected in the spread of this "news" and subsequent processes. He noted that the anti-Azerbaijani forces' behavior in this process is absolutely certain. "There are a number of pages and personal profiles in social networks that are governed by the people outside the country, especially those who are under the control of the Armenian intelligence services. At the same time, there are those in Azerbaijan who are under control of some foreign circles, and whose activities also stand out in this direction. Prior to any international event in Azerbaijan, they purposefully spread disinformation and try to keep it on the agenda by socializing it. Failure to fully approve of the right to virtual law, the fact that some social network administrators and business people do not have legal relationships with all countries lead to a number of serious problems. For some of these reasons, disclosing any disinformation in the present circumstances is purposeful. Those who do this know the mass psychology very well. From this point of view, there is no doubt that special services are behind the mentioned processes. They know that people mostly read only the headlines, and are subject to the information without having to analyze it. However, if any person who is clever enough thinks, they may immediately realize that it is disinformation," he said.
Mirzabeyli added that any person can understand that if there is any sport or musical event in the country, including the final match of the UEFA Europa League, it is impossible to limit entry and exit to the central streets in Baku. "Because so many tourists came to Baku during a number of international events. Neither tourists nor citizens have been banned from entering the city’s some streets at that time. On the other hand, the UEFA Europa League final match will be held at the Olympic Stadium, which is far from the city center. In such a case, it is absurd to impose restrictions on the movement in the center of the city. Only in the Formula 1 races there were certain limitations, which were due to the rapid movement of racing cars and for the safety of the population. This is an international requirement, a security measure. In addition, people's movement in the city center has never been banned at any event. Therefore, the news about the application of prohibitions is disinformation. If those who spread such disinformation are in the country, they should be negotiated with in the legal framework. It is important to investigate who stands behind the process, what are their goals, and so on. Moreover, in order to prevent such disinformation, the relevant authorities should react promptly and act objectively to their field, thus preventing the dissemination of disinformation. This is a part of a long-running campaign against Azerbaijan," the expert noted.